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Stock Market News for Sep 3, 2021

Benchmarks closed in the green on Thursday as investors rejoiced improvement in weekly jobless claims ahead of August's jobs data scheduled for releas...

This story originally appeared on Zacks

Benchmarks closed in the green on Thursday as investors rejoiced improvement in weekly jobless claims ahead of August’s jobs data scheduled for release on Friday. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit fresh records yesterday and the Dow rose modestly.

- Zacks

How Did the Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 131.29 points, or 0.4%, to close at 35,443.82. Dow’s modest gain was led by a nearly 3% gain in Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. WBA, followed by 2.1% and 1.8% gain in shares of Chevron Corporation CVX and Caterpillar Inc. CAT, respectively. Walgreens Boots Alliance carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The S&P 500 rose 12.86 points, or 0.3 %, to hit a fresh record of 4,536.95 on Thursday. The broader index also hit an intraday all-time high at 4,545.85 and eight of its 11 major sectors closed in the green. The energy sector was the biggest gainer climbing 2.5% for the session, reversing losses in the initial days of the week, due to hurricane Ida. Crude prices jumped nearly 2% yesterday and shares of Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation COG and Occidental Petroleum Corporation OXY closed 6.7% and nearly 6% higher, respectively.

The health and the industrials sectors also added at least 1% on Thursday. However, the communication services, consumer discretionary and technology sectors closed in the red, stalling the recent momentum.

The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 15,331.18, a fresh record high, after adding 21.8 points, or 0.1%. Despite tech stocks slowing rally on Thursday, the index hit an all-time intraday high of 15,380.07. Match Group, Inc. MTCH was the biggest gainer, closing 6.1% higher. Big tech companies like Facebook, Inc. FB and Alphabet Inc. GOOGL closed 1.8% and 1.3% lower, respectively.

On Thursday, the fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) increased 1.9%, to close at 16.41. The S&P 500 posted 78 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq Composite recorded 154 new highs and 14 new lows. A total of 9.23 billion shares were traded yesterday, higher than the last 20-session average of 9.01 billion.

Initials Claims Hit New Pandemic Low

On Thursday, the government reported that initial jobless claims for the week ending Aug 28 dropped by 14,000 to 340,000, much lower than the consensus estimate of 345,000. The latest figure is the lowest level for initial claims since Mar 14, last year. The initial claims for the week before were revised slightly upward to 354,000. This new pandemic era low jobless claim hints that the delta variant of the coronavirus has not done much damage and the economy is continuing to recover from the slump. Illinois, Virginia and California recorded the most decline in new claims, while the biggest increase was witnessed in Missouri and Ohio.

The report also highlights that continuing claims are also at a pandemic era low. Continuing claims slid by 160,000 to a seasonally adjusted 2.75 million.

U.S. Productivity Lowered to 2.1% in Q2

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported yesterday that nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased 2.1% in the second quarter of 2021, lower than the originally reported increase at a 2.3% rate and much lower than the consensus estimate of 2.5%. Unit labor cost also edged up 1.3% for the quarter, while output increased 8.1%, up from the initial 7.9% estimate.

Factory Orders Edge up in July Amid Strong Demand

On Thursday, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that factory orders rose 0.4% in July, slightly above the consensus estimate of 0.3%, but much lower than June’s 1.5% increase. For the month of July, orders for nondurable goods like food, clothing, drugs rose 0.9%, while durable goods orders slipped 0.1%. Capital goods excluding aircraft and military items rose a revised 0.1% in July. The report states that manufacturers have plenty of demand, but labor and supply shortages have slowed production, in turn hampering the momentum in economic recovery and leading to an increase in inflation.

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Chevron Corporation (CVX): Free Stock Analysis Report


Caterpillar Inc. (CAT): Free Stock Analysis Report


Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (COG): Free Stock Analysis Report


Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY): Free Stock Analysis Report


Facebook, Inc. (FB): Free Stock Analysis Report


Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report


Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA): Free Stock Analysis Report


Match Group Inc. (MTCH): Free Stock Analysis Report


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