- Dow Jones Industrial Index down 31.26 (-0.25%) to 12,573.27
- S&P 500 down 6.69 (-0.50%) to 1,334.76
- Nasdaq Composite Index down 21.79 (-0.75%) to 2,866.19
- Nikkei 225 down 1.48% (-130.99) to 8,720.01
- Hang Seng Index down 2.03% (-394.76) to 19,025.11
- Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.46% (+10.11) to 2,185.49
- FTSE 100 is down 0.89% (-50.49) to 5,613.99
U.S. stocks trimmed earlier losses Thursday, but still closed lower as traders weighed optimistic U.S. economic data against an uncertain earnings season. Concerns over the rescue of Europe's struggling economies remained as a backdrop.
Stocks have come off their day lows since mid-day as investors put more weight into morning economic reports from the world's largest economy, the United States.
At 8:30 a.m. ET, the Labor Department reported that U.S. jobless claims fell by 26,000 last week to 350,000, the lowest amount of claims in four years. The four-week average of claims decreased by 9,750 to 376,500. Continuing claims fell by 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 3.3 million in the week ended June 30.
The Labor Department also reported that the price of goods imported into the U.S. fell 2.7% in June, a second straight monthly decline. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected a 1.9% drop.
Additionally, investors are concerned about corporate profits. Earnings season officially kicked off on Monday, and so far, results have been disappointing.
Commodities posted a mixed session. Gold for August delivery declined 0.7%, to settle at $1,565.30 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude-oil traded down most of the session, but reversed on the home stretch. Crude for August delivery advanced 0.3%, to end at $86.08 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In company news, Shares of Navistar (NAV) surged following the release of a U.S. Securities and Exchange filing showing billionaire investor Carl Icahn raised his stock holdings in NAV to just below the threshold for activating the company's takeover defense plan. Icahn disclosed Thursday in the filing that he acquired 870,971 shares during June and early July. The purchases raised his stake in the company to 13.19% from 11.9%.
(+) CPRX, Expects topline data from its CPP-109 Phase II(b) clinical trial to be released earlier than previously announced
(+) PG, Activist investor Bill Ackman acquires considerable stake
(-) SVU, Disappointing Q1 earnings, planning restructuring
(-) DVR, Expects Q2 EBITDA to be below current consensus estimate
(-) GM, President of European division steps down