Investors Wait for Payroll Numbers

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Stocks remained close to the break-even level on Thursday as the major stock indices were mixed, making small moves.

Anticipation concerning Friday morning’s release of the all-important, non-farm payrolls report for December kept investors in a risk-averse mood. The Nasdaq 100 made a more significant, 0.41 percent decline after Bed, Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) sank 12.46 percent and a number of “momentum” stocks, such as Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Micron (NASDAQ:MU) lost momentum, dropping more than two percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) lost 17 points to finish Thursday’s trading session at 16,444 for a 0.11 percent decline. The S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) rose 0.03 percent to finish at 1,838. The Nasdaq 100 (NASDAQ:QQQ) declined 0.42 percent to finish at 3,552. The Russell 2000 (NYSEARCA:IWM) advanced 0.08 percent to end the day at 1,158.

In other major markets, oil (NYSEARCA:USO) declined 0.24 percent to close at $33.08. On London’s ICE Futures Europe Exchange, March futures for Brent crude oil declined 71 cents (0.67 percent) to $106.00/bbl. (NYSEARCA:BNO). February gold futures declined $1.90 (0.15 percent) to $1,227.50 per ounce (NYSEARCA:GLD).

Transports were in warp drive on Thursday, as the Dow Jones Transportation Average accelerated 1.10 percent, sending the iShares Dow Jones Transportation Index ETF (NYSEARCA:IYT) to a record-high close of $132.11 after reaching a record intraday high of $132.47.

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