Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are wavering this morning on the heels of yesterday’s late-day surge that sent the markets higher by more than 200 points. The cause could be a set of mixed economic reports that left Wall Street wanting more.
While the jobless claims report released early Thursday showed improvement, the number failed to meet expectations. Initial jobless claims came in at 453,000, with the four-week trend up slightly for a third week straight settling at 459,000. Economists had forecast 450,000 claims for the week of May 29. The private sector added 55,000 jobs last month, but like the weekly report, it also fell short of expectations.
Factory orders notched a slight increase in April, thanks to growing demand for commercial aircraft. Orders for manufactured goods rose 1.2% in April, a slight dip from the 1.7% gain in March. Excluding transportation, factory orders actually fell 0.5%, making it the worst report in more than a year. [5 ETFs That Are Holding Up.]
- iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average (NYSEArca: IYT)
The Labor Department showed a mixed productivity report. While productivity rose a 2.8% annualized rate in the first quarter, but it was short of the 3.6% predicted. Year-on-year, productivity rose 6.1% in the first quarter, up from 5.6% in the previous quarter. While the productivity report is expected to have a tepid effect on the market today, improved business in the near future will mean hiring and expanded hours, which is good news for the economy.
Cool weather and new concerns over the economy cooled American shoppers in May. The Chain Store Sales report showed mostly soft sales. However, because of the late Memorial Day weekend, June is expected to see some of May’s figures trickle over. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, drugstore chains were among the stores feeling it most. Sales at Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) slipped 0.2% and Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) dropped 1.7%. [5 ETFs to Play a Recovery.]
- iShares Dow Jones U.S. Consumer Services (NYSEArca: IYC): CVS is 3.4%; Target is 2.6%; Walgreens is 2.2%
Aaron Hurst contributed to this article.
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