Stocks opened lower Thursday, following a mixed batch of jobs news.
The Dow Jones industrials, S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell 0.4%.
Economic news got off to a mixed start on the stock market today, as the number of layoffs announced by U.S. employers fell 53% month-over-month in May to 30,157, according to consultant Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Job cuts were 27% below May 2015 levels but running about 13% higher in 2016 vs. 2015.
Payroll manager ADP said U.S. employers added 173,000 new workers in May, below economist expectations for 175,000 new hires. ADP’s National Employment Report revised its April estimate upward to 166,000 new jobs, from an original tally of 156,000.
First-time unemployment held essentially steady at 267,000 in the week ended May 28, the Labor Department said, in line with economist consensus views. The four-week moving average dipped only slightly, to 276,500.
In stocks, Apple was under some early pressure, down 1.6% after Goldman Sachs cut its price target on the stock to 124, from 136. The note cited lower market growth and lower average sales prices, as Apple’s sales emphasis shifts from developed to emerging markets. Apple shares have been fighting a deepening decline since May 2015.
Ciena rallied 12% after fiscal-second-quarter revenue rose more and earnings fell less than projected by analysts. Ciena climbed back above is 10-week moving average this week, ending Wednesday 14% above a mid-May low, but still deep in a six-month consolidation.
Texas-based appliances retailer Conn’s tanked 23%. Its first-quarter earnings missed expectations by a wide margin, management lowered full-year revenue guidance and announced a number of key executive changes, including the June 22 retirement of Chief Financial Officer Tom Moran on June 22.
Mining equipment maker Joy Global rumbled up 10% after its mixed fiscal Q2 report. Earnings of nine cents per share beat expectations for a one penny loss, although revenue fell 26% — more than projected by analysts. Management also lowered its full-year guidance to the low end of its prior range, but equipment bookings rose 12% — a bright spot.
Among leading stocks, Broadcom (AVGO) edged up 0.5%. The Singapore-based chip developer reports its fiscal second-quarter results after Thursday’s close. The stock ended Wednesday 3% below a 159.75 buy point in an eight-week cup base.
Oil prices held tight as ministers of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries met in Vienna. A production cap is reportedly on the table for discussion, but few industry watchers expect the confab to produce any substantive change of course. Oil prices may also see some effect from weekly inventories data, expected from the Energy Information Administration at 11 a.m. ET. Gold prices rose less than a half percent, to above $1,218 an ounce. The dollar eased. Bonds were flat.
Global markets were narrowly mixed. China’s benchmarks booked mild losses. Leading indexes in France and Germany dipped entering afternoon trade. London’s FTSE 100 added 0.1%. Japan was the standout, with Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 diving 2.3% as the yen strengthened vs. the dollar following comments made by a Bank of Japan official.