US open: Stocks stabilise amid better than expected data
(ShareCast News) - Stocks rebounded as the negative newsflow out of Washington eased and following the release of somewhat better than expected data on the jobs market and factory activity in the US mid-Atlantic region.
As of 1536 BST the Dow Jones Industrials was higher by 57.29 points at 20,664.74, alongside a gain for the S&P 500 of 0.44% to 2,367.42.
From a sector standpoint the best performance is being seen in the following industrial groups: Personal products (2.60%), Semiconductors (1.68%) and Computer Hardware (1.52%).
Initial weekly US unemployment claims decreased by 4,000 during the latest reference week to reach 232,000 (consensus: 240,000).
Ian Shepherdson, chief US economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said the third consecutive week of initial claims below 240,000 was "noteworthy".
It chimed with his expectation that non-farm payrolls would expand at a greater than 200,000 person clip, on average, over the next few months.
In parallel, the Philly Fed's manufacturing index gauge jumped from a reading of 22.0 in April to 38.8 for May (consensus: 18.8).
Nonetheless, called attention to the disparity between the strong headline reading on company sentiment and the weaker details contained in the rest of the survey.
Thursday´s spate of economic indicators saw the yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury note tread water at 2.22%.
Acting as a backdrop, overnight Reuters reported that former national Security adviser Michael Flynn and other Trump advisers sent at least 18 calls and e-mails to Russian officials or related people during the last seven months of the presidential elections.
That followed news that the US Department of Justice appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead the investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 presidential elections.
Nonetheless, the same sources who told Reuters of those contacts reportedly said no evidence of wrongdoing or collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia had been seen in the communications reviewed thus far.
Still on the economic calendar for later on Thursday was a speech from Cleveland Fed president Loretta Mester at 1915 BST.
Shares of index heavyweight Wal Mart advanced after the retailer posted 1.4% growth in like-for-like sales for the latest quarter, the 11th consecutive rise.
Stock in Ralp Lauren was moving lower even after the company reported much better-than-expected first quarter earnings per share of 89 cents, versus the analyst consensus calling for 78 cents.
Ann Taylor parent company Ascena on the other hand plummeted after the firm issued a profit-warning.