Thursday, August 13, 2020 – Equities finished mixed on Thursday, as an impasse in fiscal stimulus negotiations weighed on a better-than-anticipated update on the U.S. labor market. Lawmakers in Washington remain at a stalemate over a fifth coronavirus-relief package, with supplementary funding for the U.S. Postal Service being the latest point of contention. The Dow lost 80 points, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.2%, but still remains within 0.4% of its record high. The Nasdaq Composite bucked the downtrend, rising 0.3%.
On the data front, initial jobless claims fell more than projected to 963,000 from an upwardly revised 1.19 million in the week ending August 8th. The figure also unexpectedly fell below 1 million for the first since the pandemic began in March. Treasuries declined for a fifth straight session, sending yields to eight-week highs following weak demand for a record-sized 30-year bond auction. The yield on the 10-year note added five basis points to 0.71%, while the 30-year bond rate jumped six basis points to 1.42%.
Nine of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in negative territory. The Energy group led laggards, with WTI crude falling 0.7% to $42.36/barrel after the International Energy Agency downgraded global oil demand expectations. In earnings, Cisco Systems tumbled 11.1% after reporting a decline in revenue year-over-year and providing disappointing forward guidance. Lyft lost 5.1% after reporting a 50% decline in July rides. In other corporate news, AMC Entertainment jumped 14.6% after revealing plans to begin its phased reopening of its U.S. theaters on August 20th. Elsewhere, Apple gained 1.9% amid news the company plans to bundle its digital services at a discounted monthly price.
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