The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell slightly on Thursday following the release of weaker-than-expected jobless claims data at a time when lawmakers struggle to push through new fiscal stimulus before year-end.
The 30-stock index lost 59.73 points to 30,009.08. Verizon and American Express were the worst-performing Dow stocks, falling more than 1% each.
The S&P 500 eked up 1.11 points to 3,673.93.
The NASDAQ recovered 55.37 points to 12,394.33.
Initial weekly jobless claims jumped to 853,000 last week, topping a Dow Jones estimate of 730,000. That marks the highest number of initial claims being filed since September and the first time since October that they topped 800,000.
Thursday’s report stoked fears about economic recovery moving forward as Congress tries to put together a new stimulus package.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he wants Congress to pass a coronavirus relief bill with neither legal immunity for businesses nor state and local government relief. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said McConnell’s proposal to move stimulus talks forward without state and local government aid is not in good faith.
The House of Representatives passed a government funding extension Wednesday that would keep the federal government running through Dec. 18 and buy time for further negotiations for a bigger relief bill.
Prices for the 10-Year Treasury gained a bit of ground, lowering yields to 0.93% from Wednesday’s 0.94%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices surged $1.71 to $47.23 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices regained $9.40 to $1,847.90.