Thursday, March 6, 2013 -
U.S. stocks ended mixed on Thursday, with the broad market edging a bit higher and the S&P 500 moving another 3 points, while the OTC and Russell 2000 indexes edged down a bit.
The stock market initially opened higher on the weekly initial claims report but by the end of the day investors were growing a bit nervous ahead of Friday’s key jobs report, so some mild weakness developed late in the day in the more volatile sectors.
While the Dow and the S&P 500 managed to hold on to modest gains, the tech-heavy Nasdaq slid into negative territory and closed down 6 points (-0.1%) at 4,352. The Dow rose 62 points (+0.4%) to 16,422 and the S&P 500 edged up 3 points (+0.2%) to 1,877. The NYSE finished at +0.4% and the small cap Russell 2000 at -0.1%.
The strength seen early in the session came following the release of a report from the Labor Department showing that initial jobless claims fell by more than expected in the week ended March 1st – but the previous week was revised higher – so, who knows what this means these days.
Eyes on New Jobs and March Taper
Other than jobless claims today, there wasn’t much else in the way of economic news as most traders wait for tomorrow’s new jobs numbers.
The bar has been set really low for Friday jobs report because of the weather but the market will be watching closely for signs of a more serious cyclical slowdown developing beyond just bad weather. As I said yesterday, the Affordable Care Act is taking a bite out of . . . . . .
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