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Stock Market News Today, 02/15/24 – Stocks Close Higher amid New Economic Data
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Stock Market News Today, 02/15/24 – Stocks Close Higher amid New Economic Data

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Stocks closed higher amid a slew of new economic data.

Last Updated 4:00PM EST

Stock indices finished today’s trading session in the green, as the Nasdaq 100 (NDX), S&P 500 (SPX), and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) gained 0.21%, 0.58%, and 0.91%, respectively.

On Thursday, the Department of Labor released its Initial Jobless Claims report, which came in better than expected. In the past week, 212,000 people filed for unemployment insurance for the first time. Expectations were for 219,000 individuals.

However, Continuing Jobless Claims, which measures the number of unemployed people who qualify for unemployment insurance, came in at 1.895 million. This was above the forecast of 1.88 million and higher than last week’s print of 1.865 million.

Furthermore, January saw U.S. retail sales drop by 0.8% to $700.3 billion compared to the 0.1% decrease anticipated. This also reversed December’s gain. Analysts attribute the downturn to a post-holiday spending reduction and seasonal adjustments, with nonstore retailers and food services still showing year-over-year growth.

First Published: 3:52AM EST

U.S. futures inched higher on Thursday morning as traders awaited the release of key economic reports due today. Futures on the Nasdaq 100 (NDX), S&P 500 (SPX), and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) were up about 0.21%, 0.2%, and 0.22%, respectively, at 3.27 a.m. EST, February 15.

The stock market finished higher yesterday with all three indices registering gains. Investors might have perceived Tuesday’s sharp decline as an overreaction to the higher-than-expected January consumer-price index report.

Jake Dollarhide, CEO of Longbow Asset Management, believes that traders should focus on the underlying rationale behind the Federal Reserve’s monetary decision-making process and not just on the timing of the initial rate cut. He said that the Fed’s key concern is the potential for premature rate cuts leading to future hikes, which could negatively impact the ongoing market upswing.

Among key economic reports due for release today are Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending February 10 and January Retail sales data. On the earnings front, Coinbase (COIN), DraftKings (DKNG), Applied Materials (AMAT), Deere (DE), and Trade Desk (TTD) will announce results today.

Meanwhile, the U.S. 10-year treasury yield was down at the time of writing, floating near 4.22%. At the same time, the WTI crude oil futures trended lower, hovering near $76.17 per barrel as of the last check after the U.S. reported higher crude oil inventories for November.

Elsewhere, European indices opened in the green on encouraging corporate earnings reports. However, the UK economy contracted by 0.3% in the last three months of 2023, officially entering a technical recession.

Asia-Pacific Markets End Higher on Thursday

Asia-Pacific indices finished higher on Thursday, erasing most of the previous day’s losses.

Amidst recent economic developments, Japan’s gross domestic product (GDP) has declined for two consecutive quarters, indicating a technical recession. Consequently, Germany has surpassed Japan as the world’s third-largest economy.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index trended higher by 0.41%. Further, Japan’s Nikkei and Topix indices closed up by 1.21% and 0.28%, respectively. Chinese stock markets will remain closed this week for the Lunar New Year holiday.

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