Wall Street indexes oscillated between small losses and gains on Thursday as market players digested fresh economic data and looked ahead of further details from Washington D.C..
Thursday was loaded with key earnings report before and after the bell. Among those, Caterpillar (EPS 0.83/0.59), Comcast (EPS 0.89/0.85), Dow Chemical (EPS 0.99/0.97), Ford Motor (EPS 0.30/0.46), Alphabet (EPS 9.36/9.64), Microsoft (EPS 0.84/0.79), Intel (EPS 0.79/0.61), Paypal (EPS 0.42/0.42) and Starbucks (EPS 0.52/0.52).
Dow Jones Industrial Average: +0.16 percent / 20100.91 points
Standard & Poor’s 500: -0.07 percent / 2296.68 points
Nasdaq Composite: -0.02 percent / 5655.18 points
US markets ended at all-time peaks on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average moving above its 20,000-point milestone. Breaking this resistance could promote investment from abroad and quickly extend gains to 21,000 points, according to some market analysts.
Behind Wednesday’s stock rally was a series of executive orders signed by President Donald Trump that investors considered positive for the economy. Among those, a push to reactive construction of Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. Also, Trump met with several automakers earlier this week, boosting speculation on larger industry stimulus such as tax reforms and cutting regulations by 75 percent or even more.
However, economists’ remain on difficult spot to predict next steps as Trump also has signed an executive order to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. Such behaviour leaves an open door for new international deals, although it increases tension between the United States, China and Europe.
In economic news, goods trade balance for December showed a smaller-than-expected reduction to -$65 billions from a previous reading of -$65.30 billions. People claiming for unemployment benefits moved to 259.000 last week, above expectations to see an increase up to 270.000 applications. Services PMI for January was better-than-expected at 55.1, while analysts forecasted a build to 54.4 points. New Homes Sales for December fell 10.4 percent.
Today, US core durable goods for December will be available at 13:30 GMT, together with the gross domestic product for 2016’s latest quarter. Michigan Consumer Expectations and Sentiment for January will be out at 15:00 GMT, with analysts seeing no movement from December, keeping forecast at 88.9 and 98.1 respectively.