Stocks closed lower again Thursday after a day of choppy trading as investors continue assessing the pace of economic growth. The holiday-shortened week has given investors several reports, some conflicting, to review for clues on the direction of the economy's recovery, per the AP. The Dow fell 151 points to 34,879, the S&P 500 fell 20 points to 4,493, and the Nasdaq fell 38 points to 15,248. A weekly loss now look likely for the indexes. Health care and technology stocks were the heaviest weights dragging down the broader market. Eli Lilly fell 5.5% and Microsoft fell 0.9%. Banks and other financial companies made gains.
“The economy seems to be slowing down a little bit and it's hard to know how much is temporary because of the delta variant and how much is the new normal,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance. The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 310,000. At their current pace, weekly applications for benefits are edging toward their pre-pandemic figure of roughly 225,000. The upbeat report follows others that show the jobs market is still struggling to recover. The Labor Department's jobs survey for August was far weaker than economists expected, but the agency has also reported that employers are posting record job openings.
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