Wall Street dips after jobless claims, earnings limit drop
NEW YORK - US stocks fell on Thursday after three days of gains, following weaker-than-expected data on the labour market, though some recent earnings reports helped limit the retreat.
The benchmark S&P 500 index has risen 2.3 per cent over the past three days, ending Wednesday just 0.33 per cent shy of the year's closing high. Those gains came on better-than-expected results from such companies as Johnson & Johnson and Goldman Sachs.
Weekly jobless claims rose much more than expected in the latest week to 388,000, from a revised 342,000 in the previous week. Analysts had expected claims to rise to 365,000, though a Labour Department official said it appeared state-level administrative issues were distorting the data.
"This is giving investors a reason to take profits after a nice little run, but I think we'll go back to focusing on earnings soon, and we're starting to see buyers come back into the market already," said Mr Doug DePietro, head of trading at Evercore Partners in New York.