Dow Feels For Bruises After GDP, Jobless Figures

Stocks fell on Thursday as investors digested a record-setting drop in U.S. economic activity and awaited the latest quarterly numbers from some of the major tech names.

The Dow Jones Industrials came off its lows of the morning, but still ailed 317.28 points, or 1.2%, to pause for lunch at 26,222.29.

The S&P 500 fell 21.71 points to 3,236.73.

The NASDAQ revived from a morning snooze, and gained 17.01 points to 10,559.96.

Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook, representing nearly $5 trillion in market capitalization, are all set to report after the bell. Facebook and Alphabet were both lower while Apple and Amazon each rose slightly.

The Big Tech reports come after each stock has posted massive year-to-date gains. Facebook and Alphabet are both up more than 13% in 2020. Amazon has surged 64.2% in that time and Apple is up 29.5% this year.

It is also the busiest day of the current earnings season with tons of companies including Ford, UPS and Procter & Gamble also posting results.

P&G shares gained 1.7% after reporting stronger sales of cleaning products. UPS soared 10.8% after reporting a second-quarter surge in home deliveries. Stocks also tumbled after data showed gross domestic product plunged by a record 32.9% in the second quarter.

The number was not as bad as feared, however, as economists had expected a 34.7% decline.

Meanwhile, U.S. weekly jobless claims came in at 1.434 million, roughly in line with estimates. However, continuing claims, or those who have been collecting for at least two weeks, totaled 17.018 million, up from about 16 million last week.

There was pressure on bank stocks. JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America all fell more than 2.5%. Citigroup dropped 4.5%

The move lower on Thursday follows a session that saw major averages posting solid gains after the Federal Reserve kept the overnight U.S. rate in a range between 0% and 0.25%. The central bank noted that while the economy has recovered slightly, activity and employment remain “well below their levels at the beginning of the year.”

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell added the central bank will keep an accommodative stance until the economy has “weathered” the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury gained, lowering yields to 0.55% from Wednesday’s 0.57%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dropped $1.31 to $39.96 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dulled $13.20 to $1,940.20 U.S. an ounce.