By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com — Wall Street faltered near record highs at the opening on Thursday, cautious of over-extending a vigorous rally ahead of the U.S. labor market report.
By 10:25 AM ET (1525 GMT), the had given up early gains to be down 43 points, or 0.2%, on the day. The was up 0.1% and the was up 0.2%, but both were off early highs.
The market is already primed for a bullish number on nonfarm payrolls after ADP’s monthly report on private-sector hiring came in well above expectations on Wednesday. Initial jobless claims fell to their lowest since April months last week at only 202,000, further evidence of labor market tightness.
The is already up 1.6% for the week so far, and up 2.6% over a month that has seen the emergence of a major threat to global growth this year. Dallas Federal Reserve head Robert Kaplan said in a speech earlier he expected U.S. growth of around 2.25% this year, a figure that he said would be higher if not for the coronavirus outbreak and Boeing’s (NYSE:) problems with its 737 Max.
Twitter (NYSE:) grabbed the spotlight, rising 15% after cracking through $1 billion in quarterly revenue for the first time, even though earnings fell in the three months to December and the company predicted continued rises in operating costs this year.
Tesla (NASDAQ:) stock retreated to the sidelines after a wild ride in the first three sessions of the week. It was down 1.5%, with buyers appearing to step in again at around the $720 level.
Becton Dickinson (NYSE:) stock slumped 11.8% after the medical device company said the ongoing dispute over the software controlling its infusion system Alaris would weigh on this year’s earnings.
Qualcomm (NASDAQ:) stock fell 3.4% after warning that the coronavirus could hit the smartphone market, a key source of sales, this year. There was further bad news as it acknowledged a fresh EU antitrust investigation into possible abuse of its dominant position in the market for 5G modem chips.
Exxon Mobil (NYSE:) and other oil stocks slumped again after OPEC and its allies failed to agree in principle on further cuts in crude output to address the demand shock from China, something that triggered fresh selling of futures.
Exxon was down 1.1%, but was still above the nine-year low that it hit on Tuesday. Cheniere Energy (NYSE:) fell 2.2% after reports that China’s CNOOC had declared force majeure to avoid taking delivery of LNG cargoes, a move that threatens to depress gas prices across Asia and further afield.
The , meanwhile, rose to its highest in nearly two months at 98.33.
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