Stocks Mixed as Tech Takes Dive and Yellen Remains Upbeat on Economy
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Markets closed mixed Thursday as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reiterated her positive economic outlook and as tech stocks tumbled again.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2% to 16,550.97, while the S&P 500 lost 0.14% to 1,875.63. The Nasdaq dropped 0.4% to 4,051.50.
European markets were higher after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi suggested the central bank could announce new easing measures soon.
- Initial jobless claims fell 26,000 to 319,000 in the week of May 3 after an upward revision by 1,000 for the prior week's level. Economists were expecting a claims result of 325,000. The four-week moving average rose by 4,500 to 324,750.
- Yellen said Thursday before the Senate Budget Committee that Congress needs to address long-term budget issues. She added that the tightening of fiscal policy has led to headwinds that offset the central bank's supportive efforts. Yellen again highlighted new concern with the housing sector but was otherwise upbeat on the outlook and said the stock market was not in a bubble. Her testimony on Wednesday leaned slightly dovish, with new references to downside risks to the growth outlook.
- Draghi suggested the ECB could announce further easing measures soon, telling a news conference that central bank officials "are comfortable with acting next month" when the ECB has published new forecasts for inflation.
- International markets were higher Thursday as they processed Yellen's remarks from the day before, decisions by the European Central Bank and Bank of England to maintain interest rates at current levels, and encouraging Chinese trade data. The FTSE 100 in London closed up 0.63% and the DAX in Germany was up 0.9%. The Nikkei 225 in Japan settled up 0.93% and the Hong Kong Hang Seng closed up 0.42%.
- Tech stocks continued to lose ground on Thursday, but a few names escaped with gains. LinkedIn (LNKD) added 1.2%, while Twitter (TWTR) added 4.2%. Groupon (GRPN) jumped 6.2% after shedding 21% on Wednesday.
- SolarCity (SCTY) soared 12.4% after the solar power provider raised its installation forecast for the year following a surge in demand for its product.
- Tesla Motors (TSLA) tumbled 11.3% after posting first-quarter results that were worse than expected.
- Travel booking site Priceline (PCLN) slid 2.1% after it posted first-quarter earnings above forecasts but delivered a downbeat outlook.
- Dish Network (DISH) was 4% lower after posting first-quarter earnings that missed by 6 cents at 38 cents a share. Revenue topped estimates.
- Eastern Ukraine separatists have moved ahead with a vote on independence despite an appeal for delay from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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