The New York Stock Exchange in New York, May 26, 2020 (AFP / Johannes EISELE)
Wall Street ended without clear direction Thursday, in the aftermath of a sharp rise and after several mixed American indicators, including a number of new unemployed slightly above expectations.
Its flagship index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, rose 0.05% to 26,281.82 points.
The Nasdaq, on the other hand, lost 0.69% to 9,615.81 points and the widened S&P 500 index fell by 0.34% to 3,112.35 points.
The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 fell after both approaching their historic highs the day before, reached in February.
“The market has paused both technically and fundamentally,” said Peter Cardillo of Spartan Capital Securities.
Among the indicators, the number of new applicants for unemployment benefits in the United States stood at 1.87 million people, according to data from the Labor Department.
This is the first time that this figure has dropped below 2 million since mid-March, when the Covid-19 pandemic began to hit the US economy hard.
It is however a little higher than analysts’ expectations, which reminds us of the difficult past that the world‘s leading power is going through despite the gradual lifting of containment in most states.
The US trade deficit, for its part, jumped 16.7% in April under the effect of a record plunge in exports, a consequence of the pandemic, according to data from the Commerce Department.
Productivity fell 0.9% in the first quarter of 2020, a smaller drop than announced, according to data from the Labor Department.
The market will take notice on Friday of employment figures and the unemployment rate in the United States for the month of May. Some analysts expect an unemployment rate close to 20%.
“The unemployment figures for tomorrow (Friday) should show that there is not going to be a rapid recovery in the labor market,” predicts Cardillo.
“There is going to be a recession that could last until the middle of next year,” he said.
American investors also digested Thursday the announcement by the European Central Bank (ECB) of an extension and an increase in its emergency program against the coronavirus.
– American Airlines takes off –
Among the values of the day, American Airlines soared more than 41%. The American airline announced Thursday that it would strengthen its program in July, planning to operate 55% of its domestic flights and almost 20% of its international flights.
The move suggests that the worst of the coronavirus crisis may have passed for the airline industry.
The main rivals of American Airlines also displayed solid health: Delta Air Lines rose 6.70%, United Airlines 4.15%, JetBlue 15.53% and Southwest 5.08%.
The aircraft manufacturer Boeing took 6.43%.
The data sales platform on companies, ZoomInfo Technologies, which had its first listing on Nasdaq, blew up counters by soaring by nearly 62%. Its title stood at 34 dollars, well above the introductory price which had been set at 21 dollars per share.
On the bond market, the 10-year rate on the US debt rose, moving to 0.8218% against 0.7458% Wednesday evening.
dho / bh