US crude oil inventories fell by 1.529 million barrels in the week ending September 3rd, a fifth consecutive period of declines and compared with market forecasts of a 4.612 million drop, data from the EIA Petroleum Status Report showed. Meanwhile, gasoline inventories slumped by 7.215 million barrels, more than an expected 3.39 million decrease.
The Down Jones rose more than 100 points and the S&P traded 0.2% higher on Thursday, attempting to recover from a 3-day losing streak after initial claims fell more than expected to 310K in the latest week. Still, investors remain cautious about a slowing economy as the coronavirus delta variant spreads and uncertainties remain over the timeline for the Fed tapering. Also, Nasdaq was boosted by Big Tech companies including Apple, Facebook and Amazon. Meanwhile, Chinese stocks that trade in the US including Alibaba and NetEase were lower as China intensified a regulatory crackdown on online gaming.
US stocks traded flat to higher on Thursday, with both the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 attempting to recover from a 3-day losing streak after initial claims fell more than expected to 310K in the latest week. Still, investors remain cautious about a slowing economy as the coronavirus delta variant spreads and uncertainties remain over the timeline for the Fed tapering. Meanwhile, Chinese stocks that trade in the US including Alibaba and NetEase were lower as China intensified a regulatory crackdown on online gaming.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits declined to 310K in the week ending September 4th 2021, below market forecasts of 335K. It is a new pandemic low, just before the end of federal unemployment benefits at the national level on September 6th. The previous week's level was revised up by 5K to 345K and the 4-week moving average which removes week-to-week volatility fell to was 339.5K, also a new pandemic-low. Continuing claims declined to 2.783 million, compared to forecasts of 2.744 million. Recent figures continue to point to a continued recovery in the world's largest economy, helped by business reopenings and the start of the school year and even as the ongoing COVID-19 resurgence and labor supply shortages pose some risks.
The dollar index retreated to 92.5 on Thursday, after touching a 2-week high of 92.8 in the previous session, as investors digest divergent monetary policies regarding stimulus. Traders started to push back expectations for when the Federal Reserve will begin reducing bond purchases after a disappointing payrolls report. Still, Dallas President Robert Kaplan said based on the current outlook he would back a September announcement of a tapering in bond purchases and a possible start in October and Bank of New York President John Williams said “it could be appropriate” to begin tapering before the end of the year. Meanwhile, the ECB said it will slow the pace of asset purchases but did not change the total envelope of stimulus, saying it will keep it until at least the end of March 2022 or until the coronavirus crisis phase is over.