Here’s What the Markets Are Concerned About
Concerns about the military strike on Syria held the stock market to a modest advance on Thursday, despite upbeat economic reports.
The stock market’s response to upbeat economic data was restrained on Thursday, as concerns mounted about the extent of American military involvement in Syria. The ADP National Employment Report indicated that 176,000 private sector payroll jobs were added in August, raising hopes for an upbeat non-farm payrolls report from the Department of Labor on Friday. The reading fell 1,000 jobs short of the expected 177,000 new jobs.
The Institute for Supply Management reported that the headline Non-Manufacturing Index of its August 2013 Non-Manufacturing ISM Report on Business rose to 58.6 percent, compared with July’s 56.0 percent. Economists were expecting a decrease to 55.0 percent. The Department of Labor reported that during the week ending August 31, initial unemployment claims fell to 323,000 from the previous week’s figure of 332,000 — which was revised upward by 1,000 claims. The four-week moving average fell to 328,500 from 331,500 — reaching its lowest level since October of 2007.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) picked up 6 points to finish Thursday’s trading session at 14,937 for a 0.04 percent advance. The S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) rose 0.12 percent to close at 1,655. The Nasdaq 100 (NASDAQ:QQQ) advanced 0.17 percent to finish at 3,129. The Russell 2000 (NYSEARCA:IWM) rose 0.30 percent to end the day at 1,028.
In other major markets, oil (NYSEARCA:USO) surged 0.91 percent to close at $38.69. On London’s ICE Futures Europe Exchange, November futures for Brent crude oil advanced 39 cents (0.34 percent) to $113.62/bbl. (NYSEARCA:BNO). December gold futures fell $22.00 (1.58 percent) to $1,368.00 per ounce (NYSEARCA:GLD). Transports were moving along between Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner on Thursday, as the Dow Jones Transportation Average (NYSEARCA:IYT) accelerated 0.49 percent.