US stocks retreat after mixed economic data

Benchmark US indices drifted lower on Thursday, September 16, after mixed economic data showed that retails sales rose in August, but unemployment benefits claims also increased last week.

The S&P 500 fell 0.16% to 4,473.75. The Dow Jones shed 0.18% to 34,751.32. The NASDAQ Composite rose 0.13% to 15,181.92, and the small-cap Russell 2000 was down 0.07% to 2,232.91.

Retail sales rose by 0.7% to US$618.7 billion in August after declining 1.8% to US$613.3 billion in the previous month, the Census Bureau reported. Retail sales increased by 15.1% YoY in the month. The data indicated the economic recovery is on track despite Delta virus concerns.

The unemployment benefits claims rose by 20,000 to 332,000 in the week ended Sep 11 after rising 2,000 to 312,000 in the previous week, the Labor Department data revealed. The spike in benefits claims suggested the labor market could still be under stress. Investors also took cues from the Chinese markets, where stocks sharply retreated amid fears of economic slowdown.

Real estate and consumer discretionary stocks were the biggest gainers on the S&P 500 on Thursday. Nine of the 11 index segments stayed in the red. Materials and energy stocks were the bottom movers.

Stocks of DoorDash, Inc. (DASH) rose 5.84% after analysts upgraded the stock to a buy rating. Beyond Meat, Inc. (BYND) stock fell 4.21% in intraday trading after investment banking company Piper Sandler downgraded the stock to an underweight rating.

Also, shares of mobile application developer Asana Inc rose by 8.84% after analysts gave a buy rating to the stock. The company bagged the 9th spot in the Best Workplaces for Women list issued by Great Place to Work and Fortune. It is among the top 10 companies for the second consecutive year.

Lucid Group, Inc. (LCID) stock gained 6.60% after analysts provided a bullish outlook for the stock. In addition, the company said it received the longest-range rating from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its Air Dream Edition luxury sedan's 520-mile coverage.

In the consumer discretionary sector, Target Corporation (TGT) rose 1.16%, Dollar General Corporation (DG) gained 2.11%, and The Kraft Heinz Company (KHC) rose 1.26%. Sysco Corporation (SYY) and Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM) advanced 1.00% and 1.01%, respectively.

In material stocks, BHP Group (BHP) declined by 3.86%, Rio Tinto Group (RIO) fell by 4.57%, and Vale S.A. (VALE) fell by 4.91%. Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX) and Southern Copper Corp (SCCO) ticked down 6.38% and 4.67%, respectively.

In energy stocks, Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS-A) declined 1.21%, PetroChina Company Limited (PTR) declined by 1.37%, and BP plc (BP) fell 1.34%. China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation and Equinor ASA (EQNR) declined 1.34% and 2.19%, respectively.

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Top Gainers

Top performers on S&P 500 included ETSY Inc (3.10%), American Airlines Group Inc (2.63%), Align Technology Inc (2.53%), Dexcom Inc (2.44%). On NASDAQ, top performers were Aeye Inc (36.53%), Elite Education Group International Ltd (33.33%), Leap Therapeutics Inc (31.09%), Tuesday Morning Corp (28.32%). On Dow Jones, Salesforce.Com Inc (1.64%), Mcdonald's Corp (0.93%), Home Depot Inc (0.91%), American Express Co (0.80%) were the leaders.

Top Losers

Top laggards on S&P 500 included Freeport-McMoRan Inc (-6.64%), Newmont Corporation (-3.95%), L3harris Technologies Inc (-3.35%), Aptiv PLC (-3.30%). On NASDAQ, Vera Therapeutics Inc (-26.54%), MacroGenics Inc (-23.76%), Silverback Therapeutics Inc (-23.08%), Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc (-21.40%). On Dow Jones, Goldman Sachs Group Inc (-1.31%), Dow Inc (-1.21%), Merck & Co Inc (-1.15%), Caterpillar Inc (-1.04%) were the laggards.

Volume Movers

Top volume movers were Apple Inc (15.32M), Bank of America Corp (13.83M), Ford Motor Co (12.29M), AT&T Inc (8.41M), Lucid Group Inc (13.42M), Leap Therapeutics Inc (13.39M), Vinco Ventures Inc (12.36M), SoFi Technologies Inc (10.40M), Farmmi Inc (9.55M), ContextLogic Inc (8.79M).

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Futures & Commodities

Gold futures were down 2.35% to US$1,752.55 per ounce. Silver decreased by 3.86% to US$22.883 per ounce, while copper fell 2.90% to US$4.2787.

Brent oil futures increased by 0.24% to US$75.64 per barrel and WTI crude was down 0.04% to US$72.58.

Bond Market

The 30-year Treasury bond yields was up 0.66% to 1.881, while the 10-year bond yields rose 2.46% to 1.336.

US Dollar Futures Index increased by 0.34% to US$92.847.

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