U.S. Stocks Down In Negative Territory, Look Headed For Another Weak Close

U.S. stocks, which fell after a slightly positive start Thursday morning, remain firmly down in negative territory around later afternoon, and look headed for another weak close.

The major averages are all down in the red, with the Nasdaq once again posting a more pronounced loss.

The Dow is down 181.00 points or 0.52 percent at 34,584.64. The S&P 500 is down 21.77 points or 0.5 percent at 4,382.56, while the Nasdaq is down 115.24 points or 0.86 percent at 13,359.39.

The mood is bearish as the Federal Reserve’s minutes, released Wednesday afternoon, indicated the central bank is likely to hold interest rates higher for longer to contain inflation.

Walgreens Boots Alliance is down 3.6 percent. Intel is declining 2.2 percent, while Boeing, Walmart, United Health, Meta Platforms and Apple Inc are down 1.4 to 1.7 percent.

JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Visa and Microsoft are also down in negative territory.

Walmart shares are down 1.7 percent, despite the major retailer raising its full-year guidance.

Cisco Systems is rising nearly 4 percent. Chevron, Alphabet, 3M and IBM are up 1 to 1.4 percent.

Caterpillar, J&J, American Express, Coca-Cola and Merck are up with modest gains.

In economic news, data from the Labor Department showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits saw a modest decline in the week ended August 12th.

The report said initial jobless claims slipped to 239,000, a decrease of 11,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 250,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 240,000 from the 248,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average crept up to 234,250, an increase of 2,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 231,500.

A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index increased to +12 in August, up from -13.5 in July.

Meanwhile, the Conference Board’s leading index declined 0.4 percent month-on-month in July.

In overseas trading, Asian stocks ended weak amid mounting China worries and on hawkish Fed minutes.

The major European markets closed weak on Thursday, extending recent losses, as worries about China’s economic woes, interest rate and inflation concerns continued to weigh on sentiment.

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