The U.S. stock market recorded small losses on Thursday despite a report which showed a drop in both initial jobless claims and continuing claims.
Volatility levels rose on the session as the market fell, but the VIX remains at historically low levels. In the currency markets, the yen and euro fell sharply against the greenback.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost a little better than 22 points, or 0.15 percent, to 15,083.
The S&P 500 lost 6 points, or 0.37 percent, to 1,627.
The Nasdaq lost 4 points, or 0.12 percent, to 3,409.
Initial jobless claims fell from 327,000 for the week ending April 27 to 323,000 for the week ending May 4. This came in below consensus estimates which called for an increase in initial claims to 336,000.
Continuing claims for fell to 3.005 million for the week ending April 27 from 3.032 million for the week ending April 20. This compared to consensus estimates of 3.019 million.
Wholesale inventories rose 0.4 percent for the month of March after falling 0.3 percent in February. This came in slightly above consensus estimates which called for wholesale inventories to increase 0.3 percent.
Oil prices fell on Thursday. Late in the day, NYMEX crude futures were down 0.85 percent to $95.80. Brent futures were last down 0.32 percent to $104.01. Natural gas futures were up 0.08 percent to $3.98 near the close of equities.
Precious metals also traded down on the session. COMEX Gold futures were last down 1.21 percent to $1,455.90 while silver had lost 1.10 percent to $23.67. Copper futures fell a little better than 1 percent on Thursday.
In the agricultural complex, grains were higher across the board. Corn and wheat futures both added around 2.50 percent on the session. Movers in soft commodities included cocoa, which lost a little less than 2 percent, and coffee which was last trading up 2.60 percent.
Bond prices were slightly lower on the session. Near the close of stocks, the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE:TLT) was down 0.21 percent to $120.10. At last check, yields were unchanged across the board on Thursday.
The U.S. dollar was sharply higher on Thursday. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE:UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, was up 0.92 percent to $22.47.
The closely watched EUR/USD pair was last trading down 1.09 percent to $1.3016. Other movers included the USD/JPY and the AUD/USD. The yen lost around 1.79 percent and the Australian dollar lost 1.14 percent versus the greenback. The GBP/USD fell 0.73 percent.
Volatility and Volume
The CBOE Volatility Index rose on Thursday as stocks recorded small losses. Late in the day, the VIX was up a little less than 4 percent to 13.14.
Volume was lighter than normal on the session. Only around 96.5 million SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:SPY) shares traded hands on Thursday versus a 3-month daily average of 125 million.
Late in the day, Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) was up around 25 percent. The catalyst for the move in the stock was the company's first-quarter earnings results.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR) jumped almost 28 percent on Thursday after the company reported better than expected second-quarter earnings.
Shares of Ctrip.com (NASDAQ:CTRP) added 26 percent after the company's Q1 results.
Daily deals site Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) rose more than 11 percent on the day in the wake of the company's fiscal first-quarter earnings results.
Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) climbed more than 24 percent after a report suggested that Microsoft is considering an offer to acquire all of Nook Media's digital assets.
Rackspace Hosting (NYSE:RAX) plunged almost 25 percent on the session after the company missed Q1 earnings estimates.
McDermott International (NYSE:MDR) lost 13 percent in the wake of the company's Q1 earnings results.
SS and C Technologies Holdings (NASDAQ:SSNC) fell almost 10 percent on Thursday after pricing a secondary offering.
J2 Global (NASDAQ:JCOM) lost more than 7 percent after the company reported its first-quarter earnings and provided updated guidance.
Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST) fell more than 5 percent after the company missed Wall Street Q1 consensus estimates.
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