Stocks slip for third session as economy, COVID-19 concerns resurface

Jobless claims unexpectedly rose to 898,000

Stocks closed lower on Thursday but came off the worst levels of the session ending  little changed.

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TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES28335.57-28.09-0.10%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX11548.281629+42.28+0.37%
SP500S&P 5003465.39+11.90+0.34%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which had been down over 300 points at one point, fell over 19 points, while the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 also cut losses to 0.47% and 0.15% respectively.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
WBAWALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE INC.38.04+0.53+1.41%
JPMJP MORGAN CHASE & CO.103.81+0.93+0.90%

JPMorgan and Walgreens, which returned to profitability in its last quarter, bucked the downtrend.

WALGREENS RETURNS TO PROFITABILITY

Earlier, President Trump signaled he would be willing to spend more than $1.8 trillion for additional fiscal stimulus to help the U.S. economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

"I would," Trump told FOX Business' Stuart Varney when asked if he would raise the price tag of the stimulus. "Because, look, this was not caused by our workers and our people. This was caused by China. And China will pay us back in one form or another. And the money's coming back anyway. I would absolutely I would I would pay more."

Trump added that he said "go big or go home," but the negotiations are being hurt by Pelosi, who "doesn't want to give anything."

"She thinks it helps her with the election," the president continued. "And I don't think so. I think it hurts her with the election because everyone knows she's holding it up. We're not holding it up. She's holding it up."

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Nancy Pelosi continue to negotiate.

Jobless Claims Rise 

Trump's stimulus comments followed a jump in  U.S. jobless claims to 898,000, more than expected and the highest since August.

Economists were expecting 830,000 people to file initial unemployment claims. Continuing claims topped 10 million, as the economy continues to reel from the coronavirus pandemic.

The surprise jump in jobless claims comes as parts of Europe started another round of lockdowns to contain the coronavirus pandemic and U.S. lawmakers expressed doubt that another round of fiscal stimulus would happen.

EUROPEAN COVID-19 LOCKDOWNS RETURN 

France said it would impose a new curfew in Paris to curb the rise of COVID-19 cases in the country, while the U.K. imposed a three-tiered lockdown system put forth by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Liverpool is the first city to be placed under the tightest restrictions, while speculation swirls that London may be next.

STOCKS TUMBLE FOR SECOND DAY AS STIMULUS HOPES FADE

SOCIAL MEDIA IN SPOTLIGHT

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
TWTRTWITTER INC.50.44+0.16+0.32%
FBFACEBOOK INC.284.79+6.67+2.40%

Social media companies Twitter Inc. and Facebook, Inc. were in the spotlight for a second day after both companies limited the exposure of a New York Post story on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's son, Hunter.

Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Ken Buck, asked for an investigation into the practice by the Justice Department.

GUN SALES RISING ALONG WITH CIVIL UNREST IN U.S.

Gun stocks got a boost on reports of rising sales as Americans, concerned about civil unrest in major cities, arm themselves.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
SWBISMITH & WESSON BRANDS16.25+0.06+0.37%
AOUTAMERICAN OUTDOOR BRANDS INC.15.08+0.14+0.94%

EARNINGS ROLL IN 

Financials were also in focus after Morgan Stanley and Charles Schwab reported solid results.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
MSMORGAN STANLEY51.87+0.10+0.19%
SCHWCHARLES SCHWAB40.35+0.22+0.55%

Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg. Co., the largest semiconductor manufacturer by market cap, said its third-quarter net profit rose 36%.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
TSMTAIWAN SEMICONT MAN.88.31+0.10+0.11%

After the market closes, Intuitive Surgical, Inc. will release its quarterly results.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
ISRGINTUITIVE SURGICAL INC.735.48+2.54+0.35%

ECONOMIC NEWS BARRAGE

In addition to jobless claims, import prices rose 0.3% in line with expectations, while exports were slightly higher up 0.6%.

New York manufacturing data came in weaker than expected at a reading of 10.5, missing the 15 estimate. While the Philadelphia Fed Index exceeded estimates rising to a level of 32.3.

Crude oil inventories fell by 3.8 million barrels for the week ending Oct. 10, while natural gas inventories fell 7.2 million, a much deeper drop than expected.

Crude oil data was pushed back from Wednesday because of the Columbus Day holiday.

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West Texas Intermediate crude oil was, little changed at $40.78 a barrel, while gold climbed to $1,912 an ounce.

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