Stocks snap losing streak as jobless claims dip, crypto stabilizes

Cisco Systems warned supply-chain issues will linger into year end

U.S. equity markets rallied Thursday as weekly jobless claims fell to a fresh pandemic low and the volatility in the cryptocurrency market stabilized. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 33290.08 -533.37 -1.58%
SP500 S&P 500 4166.45 -55.41 -1.31%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 14030.375849 -130.97 -0.92%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 186 points, or 0.55%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were higher by 1.06% and 1.77%, respectively. Equities snapped a three-day losing streak this week. 

FED SIGNALS IMPROVING ECONOMY MAY WARRANT POLICY REVIEW

Investors received more good news on the economic front on Thursday as initial jobless claims declined to 444,000 in the week ended May 15, down from an upwardly revised 478,000 the week prior. Continuing claims, meanwhile, edged up to 3.751 million from last week’s downwardly revised 3.64 million. 

The Federal Reserve laid some groundwork for a digital currency, specifying it will complement the U.S. dollar, not replace it, according to Chairman Jay Powell. The update followed a report from the Internal Revenue Service that revealed proposed guidelines for taxing cryptocurrencies among other initiatives tied to modernizing the IRS.

THE IRS PLANS TO TAX CRYPTO CURRENCIES

That follows the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s April meeting, released Wednesday, which suggested many members believed the central bank should begin discussing the removal of its emergency support if the economic recovery continues to progress. 

JOBLESS CLAIMS FALL MORE THAN EXPECTED TO NEW PANDEMIC LOW

In stocks, Dow component Cisco Systems Inc. warned supply-chain disruptions are likely to continue through the end of this year and gave current-quarter profit guidance that was below Wall Street expectations.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
CSCO CISCO SYSTEMS, INC. 52.07 -1.06 -2.00%

Kohl’s Corp. swung to a quarterly profit from a loss the year earlier and raised its profit forecast for the current fiscal year due to strong demand for apparel amid the economy’s reopening. This follows strong results from Target and Walmart reported earlier this week. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
KSS KOHL'S CORP. 50.49 -1.56 -3.00%
TGT TARGET CORP. 230.53 -0.69 -0.30%
WMT WALMART, INC. 135.17 -2.55 -1.85%

Elsewhere, crypto-linked names including Coinbase Global Inc., Tesla Inc. and MicroStrategy Inc. saw some relief a day after suffering losses as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies saw their prices plunge. Bitcoin, which fell to a low of $30,681 on Wednesday, was trading near $40,000 a coin.  

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TSLA TESLA, INC. 623.31 +6.71 +1.09%
MSTR MICROSTRATEGY, INC. 646.46 +15.65 +2.48%
BITQ EXCHANGE TRADED CONCEPTS TRUST BITWISE CRYPTO INNOVATORS E 22.94 -0.75 -3.16%

And in auto stocks, Ford's F-150 electric truck is getting good buzz, putting pressure on rivals including Lordstown Motors Corp. and Nikola Corp. 

SEE FORD'S F-150 ELECTRIC TRUCK

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
F FORD MOTOR CO. 14.52 -0.25 -1.69%
LORD n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
NKLA NIKOLA CORP. 16.51 -0.50 -2.94%

Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. confirmed a test flight of its SpaceShipTwo Unity will be conducted Saturday, pending weather and technical checks. 

In initial public offerings, oat milk producer Oatly Group spiked in its Nasdaq debut, opening for trading at $22.12 per share after pricing at $17 the prior evening.  

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
SPCE VIRGIN GALACTIC HOLDINGS INC. 36.80 -0.52 -1.39%
OTLY OATLY GROUP 26.00 -0.73 -2.73%

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil slid $1.31 to $62.05 per barrel and gold lost $7.20 to $1,874.30 per ounce. 

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Overseas markets were mixed.

European bourses rallied across the board with France’s CAC 40 advancing 1.29%, Germany’s DAX 30 climbing 1.7% and Britain’s FTSE 100 edging up 1%. 

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.19% while China’s Shanghai Composite index and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 0.11% and 0.5%, respectively.