U.S. stocks were mixed at Thursday’s open as investors barreled through another slew of earnings and mulled economic data that showed a rise in weekly jobless claims.
The S&P 500 slipped 0.2%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged down 0.3%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was an outlier, up roughly 0.2%.
First-time filings for unemployment insurance in the U.S. climbed to 260,000 for the week ended July 30, increasing by 6,000 from the prior week’s reading, the Department of Labor said Thursday. The figure was on par with economist estimates from Bloomberg.
Investors look ahead to the main monthly jobs report for July on Friday. Economists expect the broader employment report to show 250,000 new jobs were created last month, a noted decrease from the 372,000 jobs added in June.
Thursday’s moves follow a major up day on Wall Street Wednesday that saw the S&P 500 climb 1.6%, bringing the benchmark index 13% above its June 16th lows – its largest bounce of the year. The VIX – Wall Street’s volatility gauge – meanwhile, has fallen to 22, its second lowest close since mid-April.
“We are clearly doing better than past ‘dead cat bounces,’ DataTrek’s Nicholas Colas said in a note, though adding that a close below 20 for the Vix within the next two months may suggest “excessive market complacency” over an equity investment environment that remains uncertain.
“Happy as we are that U.S. equities are moving higher in more convincing form than prior 2022 rallies, we think it makes sense to stay level headed about risk-return tradeoffs until we have a clearer picture on inflation and future Fed monetary policy,” Colas said.
On the earnings front, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group (BABA) reported results for its fiscal first-quarter Thursday that topped Wall Street estimates. Shares jumped more than 5% in pre-market trading.
Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc