10:15 AM New York – U.S. stocks struggled and maintained downward bias after weekly jobless claims increased more than expected. Also, world markets were on the defensive after the latest manufacturing data confirmed slowing Chinese economy. Exxon Mobil and MasterCard reported higher earnings.
World markets and U.S. stocks were on the defensive after U.S. weekly jobless claims rose more than expected and China’s manufacturing expanded less than expected.
S&P 500 index increased 1.12 to 1,885.02 and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 3.94 to 4,118.81.
Metals markets traded lower after China reported weak manufacturing growth and the latest data offered another evidence of slowing economy.
Futures of immediate delivery of Crude oil declined to $99.19 in New York and aluminum eased to $1,787 a ton. Gold decreased 0.8% to $1,280.57.
Weekly Jobless Claims Rise
U.S. weekly jobless claims at the end of last week increased 14,000 to 344,000, Labor Department reported today in Washington.
The weekly claims jumped to the highest level since last February 22.
The four-week average of claims that smoothens out volatile factors increased to 320,000 from 317,000 in the prior week.
The Labor Department is scheduled to report March month unemployment rate and employers at all level are expected to add 212,000.
Monthly job increase in the year so far hovering near last year’s average of 194,000.
A separate report from the Commerce Department showed personal spending in March increased 0.9% following a revised 0.5% gain in the previous month.
Stocks in Tokyo jumped and investors reacted positively after the U.S. Fed said the U.S. economy is picking up. Also, reports domestic earnings were ahead of expectations.
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average jumped 181.02 or 1.3% to 14,485.13 and the Topix index increased 19.76 to 1,182.20.
The yen closed at 102.22 against the U.S. dollar.
The purchasing manager’s index of manufacturing index increased to 50.4 in April, slightly below expectations. The data was reported by the China’s government agency.
Last week, a private survey conducted by Markit Economics Ltd which relies more on private corporations showed a decline in manufacturing index to 4.83 from 48.
Australian dollar closed at 93.04 U.S. cents and stock market trading turnover dropped to 680 million shares worth $5.19 billion.
The ASX 200 index slipped 40.30 or 0.7% to 5,448.80 and the broader All Ordinaries fell 40.40 to 5,430.40.