Wall Street mixed on Thursday amid concerns of early interest this year.
retail sales numbers and the decreasing number of Americans filing new unemployment claims. These two data points have moved market trends and news in the past two sessions. Starting with the first report, December retail sales were better than market explication, scoring 0.6% compared to the estimated 0.4%. “We suspect consumer spending will increasingly struggle over the next couple of quarters, and the Fed will respond with rate cuts, just not as early as the market expects,” said an economic and financial analyst at ING Economics.
On the other hand, in the second report, the number of Americans filing new unemployment claims has fallen to its lowest level since 2022. The data reported today shows that the job market remains resilient and is recovering strongly. The initial claims have dropped by 16,000 to 187,000, the lowest level since September 2022.
However, these data will only suggest that the Fed might increase its key interest rates early this year. A move that will not serve the economic conditions, especially with the increasing geopolitical and military tension in the Middle East,
Moving to the stock market, Alphabet (GOOG) stock rose 0.7% after CEO Sundar Pichai mentioned in an internal memo that further job cuts at Google (GOOGL) were likely, though smaller than last year’s cuts. Discover Financial Services (DFS) stock slumped 6% due to a steep decline in fourth-quarter net income attributed to higher compliance-related expenses. Spirit Airlines (SAVE) extended losses over concerns about its future after a U.S. judge blocked its $3.8 billion merger with JetBlue Airways (JBLU).
Meanwhile, Samsung has announced its new product, the Galaxy S24 Linup. The product is meant to be Apple’s best-selling product this year, the Iohine 15 model. The new Galaxy S24 has many amazing features that could drive sales. These include live translation in voice and text and the ability to summarize incoming messages and suggest replies.
As for Wall Street’s main indexes, the stock market suffered a mixed session due to fear of early interest rate cuts due to recent data. The S&P 500 benchmark rose slightly by 0.4%, the Nasdaq was up by 0.14%, and the Dow FIRE edged lower by 0.23%.
Moving to the oil market and its record-high numbers worries the global economy. Oil prices rose as U.S. oil production was disrupted by winter weather and Middle East tensions persisted. U.S. crude futures traded 1.32% higher at $79.03 a barrel. The West Texas Intermediate rose by 1.77% to $73.78 per barrel. The increasing tension in Yemen and the Middle East has pushed up oil prices, and expats fear the worst. Speaking of tension, the U.S. and Britain have planned a series of missile attacks on the Red Sea off Yamen. Today, Pakistan launched retaliatory missile strikes into Iran, escalating Middle East tensions and potentially impacting crude supplies.
Gold futures rose 0.4% to $2,014.10/oz, while EUR/USD edged 0.1% lower to 1.0867.