Stock-index futures kicked off Thursday trade slightly lower, a day after investors expressed apparent disappointment to a Federal Reserve that failed to affirm market expectations for a near-term rate reduction. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.75% fell 0.2% to 26,378, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.96% declined 0.1% at 2,921, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +1.58% was trading flat near the open at 8,046. On Wednesday, the markets fell by the most in about a month. The tepid trade lower on Thursday comes after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday described below-target inflation readings as “transitory” and gave no indication the central bank is in a hurry to cut interest rates. Market participants had expected that a rate cut may be in the offing given the inability of inflation to achieve its 2% inflation goal. On the economic front, a report on weekly jobless claims showed it holding at a three-month high of 230,000 for the second week in a row at the end of April. Economists polled by MarketWatch had estimated new claims would fall to seasonally adjusted 215,000 in the seven days ended April 27 from 230,000 in the prior week. Meanwhile, a report on the productivity of American workers in the first quarter increased at a 3.6% annual pace from January through March, the government said Thursday, marking the biggest such gain since the fall of 2014.
See Full Story Stocks book worst multiday losses in 5 weeks after Powell dampens Fed rate-cut hopes
Stocks close lower Thursday afternoon, but off the sessions worst levels, building on losses from the previous session in apparent response to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s failure to affirm market expectations the next move in rates would be a cut.