US open: Stocks lower despite stronger-than-expected jobless claims data
Wall Street stocks were in the red early on Thursday despite a better-than-expected jobless claims report.
As of 1530 BST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.52% at 33,959.80, while the S&P 500 was 0.36% weaker at 4,158.25 and the Nasdaq Composite started out the session 0.28% softer at 13,911.76.
The Dow opened 177.51 points lower on Thursday, cutting into gains recorded in the previous session after reopening stocks led all three major indices higher.
Corporate earnings were again in focus on Thursday, with AT&T beating Wall Street forecasts and DR Horton raising its full-year outlook on the back of a quarterly profit beat.
Biogen said quarterly profits slumped 71% as its top-selling multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera faced increased competition from cheaper generic versions.
Southwest said in its earnings report that it expects to see leisure bookings improve on the back of the US' Covid-19 vaccine rollout, with the airline expecting to breakeven in June, while American Airlines reported a 53% year-on-year decline in quarterly revenues.
Still to come, Intel, Snap, Mattel and Seagate Technology will report after the close.
Also in focus, US jobless claims continued to slip lower, contrary to economists' expectations, hitting a pandemic-era low. According to the Department of Labor, initial unemployment claims for the week ending on 17 April dropped by 39,000 to reach 547,000. Secondary unemployment claims dipped by 34,000 to 3.67m.
Elsewhere on the macro front, the Chicago Fed's national activity index rose to 1.71 in March from -1.2 in February, better than market expectations for a print of -0.66.
Still on data, closed sales of existing homes fell 3.7% in March to 6.01m units, according to the National Association of Realtors, marking the slowest sales pace since August and a second straight month of declines.
Up next, the Kansas Federal Reserve's April manufacturing index will be published shortly.
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