Stocks are mixed midway through Wednesday’s trading session. As of 12:00 am EST, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were up 0.1% and 0.3%, respectively. Conversely, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 0.1%
On Wednesday, the Census Bureau released its US durable goods orders report for the month of October, which measures the change in the value of orders for large, long-life items. This report excludes the impact of aircraft orders because they tend to be highly volatile. Therefore, it is generally accepted that the basic reading provides a better indicator of order trends.
For October, core durable goods orders grew 0.5%, which was better than the 0.1% expected month on month. This was much better than last month’s decline of -0.9% and shows that there is still some demand for oversized items. Including aircraft orders, durable goods orders grew 1%, beating expectations by 0.4%.
However, it’s important to remember that this is a lagging indicator, meaning that current demand could be much lower as inflation continues to impact people’s purchasing power.
Shares Increase; Unemployment claims fall short of expectations
Last Updated 10:00am EST
Stock indices are in green to start today’s trading session. As of 10:00 am EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 were up 0.3%, 0.4% and 0.7%, respectively.
The Labor Department released its initial jobless claims report on Wednesday, which came in worse than expected. Last week, 240,000 people applied for unemployment insurance for the first time. Expectations were for 225,000 individuals.
When using the four-week average, initial jobless claims were 226,750, up from last week’s reading of 221,250. It is worth noting that this figure has been in an overall upward trend since the end of September.
In addition, continuing jobless claims, which measures the number of unemployed people who are eligible for unemployment insurance, came in at 1.551 million. This was higher than the forecast of 1.517 million and higher than last week’s print of 1.503 million.
Continuing jobless claims are currently close to their lowest levels since 1970. Relatively speaking, this suggests that people aren’t struggling to find other jobs after being made redundant.
However, this number has been slowly increasing recently as the Federal Reserve’s tightening policy begins to take effect. Therefore, it will likely continue to rise as more companies announce layoffs.
Equity market today: Futures higher ahead of Fed meeting minutes
First published at 7:18 am EST
US stock futures were trading higher on Wednesday as investors eagerly awaited the minutes of the last Federal Reserve meeting earlier this month. The update will provide more clarity on December’s policy approach.
Dow Jones Industrial Average Futures (DJI) gained 0.05%, while those in the S&P 500 (spx extension) gained 0.08%, as of 7:00 am EST Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq 100 (NDX extension) futures advanced 0.08%.
Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) was a major premarket mover, down nearly 10% at last check in Wednesday’s premarket session, even as the company topped estimates for highs and lows in the third quarter and reiterated its his guide. Investors were most likely looking for an indicative upside and were disappointed that expectations were met, suggesting that this is as good as it gets for Nordstrom.
What happened on Tuesday
After initial jitters, investors shrugged off worries about another round of COVID-19-related lockdowns in China after yet another upsurge in cases. The S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq 100 finished the day with gains of 1.36%, 1.18% and 1.48% respectively.
Volumes remained low yesterday ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, and this should continue on Wednesday.
Investors focused more on earnings reports and hopes for accommodative monetary policy from the Fed.
Increased cost of shipping oil
Meanwhile, the cost of shipping oil to several ports around the world has soared, driving up energy prices and threatening to fuel inflation.
The incessant warfare in Ukraine has cut short several short oil trade routes across the Baltic and North Seas. Also, with Russian oil exports to Europe dwindling and the latter looking for other suppliers, the time it takes for tankers to reach destinations has increased. This is the root of the price increase.
What awaits Wednesday
On the economic front, the latest Fed meeting minutes will be reviewed on Wednesday to understand the central bank’s stance on inflation and its policy approach for the December meeting.
The initial weekly jobless claims will also come out, revealing more details on how the job market is coping. With the high number of layoffs in the technology sector, a spike in compensation claims is expected. The Dow Jones poll forecasts 225,000 for the week ending Nov. 19, which is higher than the previous week’s 222,000.
The markets will be closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving and will be open until 1pm on Friday.