Dow Closes Lower During Weak Trading Period

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed back from intraday lows, but closed down Thursday ahead of a seasonally weak period of trading in September.

The blue-chip average gave back 63.07 points to 34,751.32

The S&P 500 came off its lows but still lost 6.95 points to 4,473.75.

The NASDAQ Composite fought its way into plus territory, gaining 20.4 points to 15,181.92.

Mining names Freeport-McMoRan and Newmont were the biggest laggards on the S&P 500 on Thursday, down 6.6% and nearly 4%, respectively.

On the upside, Moderna shares rose 1.4% after the company released more data on breakthrough COVID cases that supports the push for the wide use of vaccine booster shots.

Friday marks a key date for the market as the final third of September historically sees the worst performance of the month. The S&P 500 typically peaks around Sept. 17 before selling off into the end of September.

The day also coincides with the expiration for stock options, index options, stock futures and index futures — a quarterly event known as "quadruple witching" or "triple witching" — which can cause high trading volume.

August retail sales surprised the market and rose 0.7% from the month prior to the Census Bureau reported Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected a 0.8% month-over-month decline.

Meanwhile, the latest unemployment insurance weekly data showed 332,000 first-time jobless claims last week. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect a total of 320,000 initial claims.

History is also not on the market’s side as September tends to be a typically negative month for stocks. The S&P 500 has fallen 0.6% during the month on average since 1945, according to data from CFRA.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys subsided, raising yields to 1.34% from Wednesday’s 1.30%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices fell but two cents to $72.59 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices slipped $40.80 to $1,754.00 U.S. an ounce.