RTTNews - Stocks have moved modestly lower in early trading on Thursday, with the major averages all slipping into negative territory after ending the previous session just above the unchanged line. Nonetheless, selling pressure has remained relatively subdued.
After seeing substantial strength in the previous session, biotech stocks are turning in some of the worst performances. Housing, resource, and real estate stocks have also come under pressure, while some defense stocks are bucking the downtrend.
With traders expressing some uncertainty about the outlook for the markets, stocks have been turning in lackluster performances in recent sessions, consolidating near multi-month highs.
While some key economic data was released before the start of trading, traders continue to question whether the economic outlook justifies any further upside for the markets following the recent rally.
Earlier this morning, the Commerce Department released its second estimate of gross domestic product in the second quarter, although the pace of decline in economic activity was unrevised from the advance estimate.
The report showed that GDP decreased at an annual rate of 1.0 percent in the second quarter, unchanged from the 1.0 percent decrease originally reported in late July. Economists had been expecting GDP to be revised to show a decrease of 1.5 percent.
The Commerce Department said upward revisions to exports, residential fixed investment, consumer spending, and government spending were offset by downward revisions to private inventory investment and to nonresidential fixed investment.
Separately, the number of people filing for first-time unemployment benefits edged down last week, according to a report released by the Labor Department, although jobless claims remain at a relatively high level.
The report showed that jobless claims edged down to 570,000 in the week ended August 22nd from the previous week's revised figure of 580,000. Economists had been expecting jobless claims to slip to 565,000 from the 576,000 originally reported for the previous month.
The major averages have seen some further downside in the past few minutes, falling to new lows for the young session. The Dow is currently down 31.29 at 9,512.23, the Nasdaq is down 10.34 at 2,014.09 and the S&P 500 is down 5.92 at 1,022.20.
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