By Yasin Ebrahim
Investing.com – The Dow closed lower on Thursday, but remained on track for a weekly win as energy and technology stocks racked up losses amid souring investor sentiment on another wave of U.S. jobless claims and rising U.S. and China tensions.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.41%, or 102 points, the S&P 500 slipped 0.78%, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.97%.
The U.S. Labor Department reported that workers filed 2.438 million new unemployment claims last week, just above forecasts of 2.4 million, but below the prior week's downwardly revised 2.687 million.
The ongoing slowdown in jobless claims, however, may not yet indicate a bottom has been reached as continuing claims continue to rise, Jefferies (NYSE:JEF) said.
The decline on Wall Street was led by energy even as oil prices ended the day up, as investors digested bearish news from companies in the sector.
Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY), Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) and National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV) were among the biggest losers, with the latter down 6.7% after announcing it would scrap its dividend to conserve cash.
Technology, meanwhile, was led the lower by FAANG stocks, but Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) proved the exception to the selling, up 0.6% on the day. Chip stocks were also shunned, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index down more than 2% ahead of earnings from Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) later today.
On the earnings front, meanwhile, investors continued to digest mixed quarterly results.
Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) fell 4.35% even as the electronics retailer reported first-quarter earnings that topped expectations.
Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) reported mixed results as losses widened by more than expected while revenue topped estimates, sending its shares about 3.43% lower.
BJs Wholesale Club (NYSE:BJ) jumped 21.7% after its first-quarter results topped estimates, with comparable-club sales surging 27% as the coronavirus pandemic increased demand.
Elsewhere, cruise line companies Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) and Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE:NCLH) moved sharply higher as Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN) said the shares were attractive as the risk of a liquidity crunch was partially priced in.
Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) cut losses to trade 1.5% higher on a CNBC report the electric automaker will return to normal operations following disruptions caused by the pandemic.
Boeing (NYSE:BA), meanwhile, was up 4.25% after RBC initiated coverage on the stock at outperform rating, citing a favorable risk-to-reward opportunity.
Investor sentiment was also soured by rising U.S. and China tensions after the U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a bill to allow oversight of foreign-based companies.