U.S stocks dipped on Thursday following a strong day of gains as the market appeared stuck in a trading range with investors turning a blind eye on solid earnings and economic data.
The Dow Jones Industrials stumbled 56.86 points to pause for lunch Thursday at 34,080.45
The S&P 500 eked up 0.47 points to 4,173.89.
The NASDAQ Composite found its footing and actually gained 40.71 points to 13,990.93.
The Dow and S&P 500 are less than 1% away from reclaiming their record highs, reached last Friday, amid ongoing optimism over the pace of the economic recovery.
Shares of Southwest Airlines rose 1.7% after the carrier said leisure travel bookings continue to rise and that it expects to break even “or better” by June. Southwest also posted a narrower-than-expected loss for the first quarter.
Dow Inc. fell more than 4% even after the chemicals company topped earnings and revenue estimates for the first quarter. The stock is still up more than 10% for 2021.
American Airlines erased earlier gains and turned negative even after the company said its cash flow turned positive by the end of the quarter, excluding debt payments.
The market remained lower after a better-than-expected reading on weekly jobless claims. The U.S. Labor Department said Thursday that first-time claims for unemployment insurance totaled 547,000, which was below the Dow Jones estimate for 603,000.
So far, companies have largely topped Wall Street expectations this earnings season, but strong first-quarter results are not lifting the market higher after a run to records pushed valuations near multiyear highs.
Prices for 10-Year Treasurys slipped, raising yields to 1.58% from Wednesday’s 1.56%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices regained 18 cents to $61.53 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices retreated $11.20 to $1,781.90 U.S. an ounce.