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Midday Market Update

Holiday Season Sees Stocks in Red and Green

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U.S. Markets
U.S. stocks were in the red as the U.S. Department of Labor released information that the jobless claims in the week ended Dec. 17 rose a seasonally adjusted 21,000 to 275,000. Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq were down 0.10%, 0.17%, and 0.23%. Initial jobless claims are used as a real-time proxy for the pace of layoffs because people usually file for benefits right away after losing their jobs. Claims tend to be volatile during the holiday season every year.

The Department of Commerce said that orders for durable goods, products designed to last more than three years, declined 4.6% from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted $228.17 billion. Capital goods orders for nondefense items excluding aircraft increased by 0.9%. This metric is an important gauge of business spending as it provides hints about corporate America’s spending plans. Because durable-goods orders indicate how busy factories will be in the months to come, it tells investors what to expect from the manufacturing sector.  

Manjul Bhusal Sharma does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.