U.S. Equities Slip After Employment Data as Bank Shares Decline

U.S. stocks erased most of their losses but ended lower to halt a two-day equity advance, as investors assessed mixed economic data and bank stocks posted their worst drop in almost a month.

The S&P 500 slid less than 0.1 percent to 2,269 at 4 p.m. in New York after falling more than 0.4 percent earlier. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 43 points to 19,899. The S&P 500 rose 0.6 percent on Wednesday in a broad-based rally following the release of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting minutes and is 1.4 percent higher in the first three days of 2017.

  • Six of 11 sectors finish lower with declines steepest in financials, industrials and energy companies
  • S&P banking index down 1.4%
  • Energy shares down 0.3%; crude oil reverses loss, up 0.9%
  • VIX down 1.5% for third straight day of gains
  • The dollar extended losses, after dropping yesterday following minutes from the Fed’s December meeting that showed the central bank was more concerned about a strong currency
  • S&P retail index pared earlier losses, ending day down less than 0.1%
    • Kohl’s Corp. tumbled 19% after lowering its fiscal 2016 profit forecast; Macy’s Inc. slid 14% after the largest U.S. department-store company cut its earnings outlook and pledged to eliminate 6,200 jobs
  • Companies added fewer jobs than forecast in December, data from the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, New Jersey, showed Thursday
  • Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits declined to the lowest level in eight weeks, showing volatility typical around the holiday period
  • In a weekly survey by the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII), bulls rose to more than 46%, the highest reading since late November and up from the previous week
    • After-market Thursday: PriceSmart (PSMT), Helen of Troy (HELE), Ruby Tuesday (RT)

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— With assistance by Blaise Robinson

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