Wall Street stocks mixed ahead of Thanksgiving, Nasdaq finishes at new high

The Dow Jones Industrials Average touched 30,000 for the first time in its history yesterday

Nasdaq was up at midsession but the the other two main benchmarks were seeing red

4.15pm: Dow slides but Nasdaq gains at close

Tech stocks hit a new highs at Wednesday's close but the broader market retreated slightly.

Ahead of the holdiays, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid just under yesterday's record high to finish at 29,872, a loss of 174 points or 0.6%. Elsewhere, the S&P 500 fell 0.2% to 3,630. It was the tech-heavy Nasdaq that carried the day, finishing 0.5% higher at a new high of 12,094. 

1pm: Wall Street shares mixed

Wall Street shares were trading mixed at mid-session, with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 in the red and the Nasdaq heading higher, as markets geared up for Thanksgiving.

On thin volumes, the DJIA fell over 166 at 29, 879, while the S&P 500 was off over seven points at 3,627.

The tech-laden Nasdaq exchange, however, zoomed up 37 points to stand at 12,074.

"The Dow Jones and the Russell 2000 have retreated from their record closes last night as dealers are trimming their positions as the US will celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow. There was a raft of economic announcements posted today," noted David Madden, analyst at London-based CMC Markets.

"The initial jobless claims reading jumped from 742,000 to 778,000. Personal spending for October was 0.5%, down from 1.4%, and personal consumption came in at -0.7%, and that was a sharp fall from the 0.7% registered in September. The final reading of the University of Michigan consumer sentiment was 76.9, a slight revision from the 77 posted in the preliminary reading," he said.

On the corporate front, Slack Technologies Inc (NYSE:WORK) shares rocketed over 25% in midday trade after The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation, that the software tech group had held talks over being acquired by Salesforce.com Inc (NYSE:CRM). The latter's shares dropped 3.06% to US$252.86.

10.35am: Proactive North America headlines:

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ImagineAR Inc (CSE:IP) (OTCQB:IPNFF) (FRA:GMS1) signs revenue partnership agreement with Real Sociedad to provide its Augmented Reality SDK Platform for fan engagement

Mirasol Resources  Ltd (CVE:MRZ) (OTCPINK:MRZLF) (FRA:M8R) aiming to kick off diamond drilling in first quarter next year at Inca gold project after encouraging surface work

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Phunware Inc (NASDAQ:PHUN) engages Stout Capital to monetize the company’s intellectual property (IP) portfolio, including both its patent and data assets

FansUnite Entertainment Inc (CSE:FANS) (OTCQB:FUNFF) becomes official member of the Canadian Gaming Association

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PreveCeutical Medical Inc (CSE:PREV) (OTCQB:PRVCF) (FRA:18H) announces successful lab development of a cannabinoid Sol-Gel formulation to prevent or treat coronavirus

10.00am: US stocks mostly lower in early deals

US stocks started the session mostly lower midweek, though the Nasdaq surged, after the benchmark Dow Jones crashed through 30,000 for the first time yesterday.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones is down 163 points at 29,883. The S&P 500 lost around nine points at 3,626. The tech heavy Nasdaq though was trading in record territory, up over 25 points at 12,063.

The muted open came amid lower trading volumes ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday and as traders gear up for a slew of new data, including disappointing jobless claims.

The Labor Department reported that 778,000 people filed for unemployment benefit last week, while economists had expected a figure of 733,000.

The figure was a five-week high.

Also expected this morning are figures on income, spending, consumer spending and inflation, which should throw more light on how US household are coping with the current pandemic situation.

Elsewhere, durable goods orders for October rose by more than forecast. Last month, eight of the nine primary categories of durable goods shipments increased, with the standout performer by far, being communications equipment, which surged by 9.9% m/m increase in October.

This lifted the sector 27.9% above its level in February, reflecting the current increased demand due to the shift to working from home amid the pandemic.

Elsewhere, later the Federal Reserve's meeting minutes from earlier this month will be released at 2pm EST.

9am: US benchmarks seen lower 

US stocks are expected to see a mixed open on Wednesday, the final session before the Thanksgiving holidays, with US blue chips having reached new all-time highs on Tuesday,

The Dow Jones Industrials Average touched 30,000 for the first time in its history yesterday, during an impressive month which has priced in a series of positive news. Futures, perhaps understandably, point to a slight dip for the benchmark index today, but still indicate modest gains for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite.

“Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow means two things; firstly we basically get a three-day data dump today as well as the FOMC minutes so it's going to be a lively session,” said Craig Erlam, analyst at OANDA Europe.

“Secondly, the rest of the week is basically a write-off for the US which should make for a chilled end to the week for the rest of us. That said, it is 2020.”

“The second reading of US third quarter GDP is expected to be unchanged but, of all the releases, it's arguably the least important given how out of date it already is. It would take some revision - and probably a positive one at that - to pique investors interests.”

US jobless claims are also on the agenda, though the numbers are expected to swell again despite reversing course last week. If so, another significant increase could depress the market rally which is already losing momentum.

Meanwhile, the US is considering to lift European travel restrictions for non-US citizens coming from the UK, Brazil, Ireland and 26 other European countries, Reuters reported.

Five things to watch on Thursday:

US initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 778,000 for the week ended November 21, compared to 748,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Wednesday. Economists had forecast 730,000 applications in the latest week. The weekly claims report, the most timely data on the economy’s health, was published a day early because of Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day holiday.

Tesla Inc is issuing two recalls covering about 9,500 vehicles for roof trim that may separate and bolts that may not have been properly tightened. The larger recall covers 9,136 Model X cars from the 2016 model year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on Wednesday.

Gap Inc fell short of Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit after-hours on Tuesday as a pivot to online sales fueled a surge in marketing and shipping costs, sending the apparel retailer’s shares down about 11% in extended trading. The company also forecast fourth-quarter sales to be flat or slightly higher than last year, and warned of pressure on margins from elevated shipping costs, including air freight, as retailers rush to move merchandise ahead of the holiday season.

Purdue Pharma LP pleaded guilty to criminal charges over the handling of its addictive prescription painkiller OxyContin, capping a deal with federal prosecutors to resolve an investigation into the drugmaker’s role in the US opioid crisis.

A South Korean agency for protecting personal information on Wednesday fined Facebook Inc 6.7 billion won ($6.06 million) and sought a criminal investigation for providing users’ personal information to other operators without consent.

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