(RTTNews) – After ending the previous session modestly lower, the major U.S. stock indexes fluctuated over the course of the trading day on Thursday before closing mixed. Despite the choppy trading, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 reached new record closing highs.
While the Nasdaq climbed 72.14 points or 0.5 percent to 15,993.71 and the S&P 500 rose 15.87 points or 0.3 percent to 4,704.54, the narrower Dow recovered from its early lows but still closed down 60.10 points or 0.2 percent at 35,870.95.
The mixed performance by the major averages came as traders reacted to mixed earnings news from some big-name companies.
Retail stocks saw significant strength on the day following upbeat results from companies like Macy’s (M), BJ’s Wholesale (BJ) and Kohl’s (KSS), driving the Dow Jones U.S. Retail Index up by 2.1 percent to a record closing high.
Chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA) also helped to lead the semiconductor sector higher, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index jumping by 1.8 percent. The index also reached a new record closing high.
Shares of Nvidia surged up by 8.3 percent after the company reported better than expected third quarter results and provided upbeat guidance.
Meanwhile, a steep drop by Cisco Systems (CSCO) weighed on the Dow, as the networking giant tumbled by 5.5 percent to its lowest closing level in almost four months.
The sell-off by Cisco came after the company reported better than expected fiscal first quarter earnings but provided disappointing guidance.
In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department released a report showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits were nearly unchanged in the week ended November 13th.
The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 268,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 269,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 260,000 from the 267,000 originally reported for the previous week.
With the slight decrease and the revision to the previous week’s number, jobless claims once again hit their lowest level since the week ended March 14, 2020.
A separate report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia showed a significant acceleration in the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity in the month of November.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slipped by 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index tumbled by 1.3 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.5 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index both edged down by 0.2 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries extended the upward move seen over the course of the previous session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, i dipped by 1.5 basis points to 1.589 percent.
Following a few busy days on the U.S. economic front, trading activity may be somewhat subdued on Friday amid a lack of major economic data.