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S&P 500 dips after flirting with record high again



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The U.S. economy just had its worse performance ever as businesses shut down across the country as well as much travel decline.

USA TODAY

U.S. stocks slipped Thursday, after the S&P 500 briefly crossed above its record high before the coronavirus pandemic battered the global economy in the spring.

The S&P 500, the broadest measure of U.S. stocks and the index used as a benchmark for index funds, dipped 0.2% to 3,373.43, putting it within 0.4% of its Feb. 19 all-time high. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 80.12 points, or 0.3%, at 27,896.72, off about 5.6% from its February peak. 

Most stocks in the S&P 500 and across Wall Street were weaker on Thursday. Energy producers and financial stocks had some of the market’s sharpest losses, but resilience for Apple – up 1.8% – and several other Big Tech stocks helped offset declines.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.3% to 11,042.50, after hitting a record earlier this month.

Cisco, which makes routers and other network hardware, fell 11% – the most in the S&P 500 – after predicting results for its current quarter that were weaker than analysts were expecting. Lyft lost 5% after reporting a steep drop in ridership and revenue.

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Markets received some less-bad news on the jobs front as the number of laid-off workers applying for unemployment benefits fell below 1 million last week for the first time since March. About 963,000 filed initial jobless claims, a rough measure of layoffs, the Labor Department said Thursday.

“The labor market is continuing its gradual improvement,” Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae, said in a note. “While the pace of decline in claims had paused briefly, it appears to be accelerating again, an encouraging sign for the labor market recovery. However, the initial claims figure still remains above the peak value seen during the previous recession.”

Trade tensions between the U.S. and China are adding to uncertainties, with officials from both sides due to hold a virtual meeting Friday to discuss progress on a deal reached in January that brought a truce in a tariff war.

In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude fell 1% to settle at $42.24 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, was down 1.1% at $44.91 per barrel.

Gold for delivery in December rose $21.40 to settle at $1,970.40 per ounce.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury was sitting at 0.71% in afternoon trading. It was at 0.57% just on Monday.

In Asian stock markets, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 jumped 1.8%, South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.2% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.1%. Stocks in Shanghai were virtually flat.

In European markets, Germany’s DAX lost 0.5%, and France’s CAC 40 fell 0.6%. The FTSE 100 in London dropped 1.5%.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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