US stocks were almost at a standstill earlier on Wednesday after the release of US initial jobless claims data. Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 15 points. Nasdaq 100 index as well as S&P 500 index were also in the red.

US Market Concerns

Minutes by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday indicated that the Fed was willing to taper its monthly bond purchases before the end of the year. However, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) stressed that the reduction of assets was not a drive to an imminent rate hike.

In their July meeting, the FOMC voted to maintain short-term interest rates near zero. The committee also stated its optimism about the pace of economic growth.

According to data published by the US Department of Labor, the seasonally adjusted initial claims for the week ending August 14 came in lower at 348,000. The claims fell 29,000 from the previous week, hitting the lowest level since March 14, 2020.

US Treasury yields inched lower on Thursday despite the Fed’s latest policy meeting minutes. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note slipped to 1.242%. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond fell to 1.874%.

Oil prices were down for the sixth consecutive day amid demand concerns and Fed’s hawkish tone. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude slumped more than 4% to $62.80 per barrel. Brent crude oil dipped 3.69% to $65.70 per barrel.

Dow Jones Movers

Cisco was the best performer in the Dow Jones index. The networking hardware company gained more than 3% after publishing its Q4 earnings. Its earnings came in at $0.84 per share, exceeding analysts’ expectations of $0.82. Its revenue jumped to $13.13 billion, surpassing the $13.03 billion estimate.

The UnitedHealth Group was up by nearly 2%. The company is the largest US health insurer. It recently settled federal and New York state charges, after being accused of illegally denying health coverage for patients with mental health problems.

Chevron Corporation led the laggards in the Dow Jones index. The energy industry company fell 3.47% amid a decline in oil prices.

Boeing Co was also among the drags in the index. The aerospace company fell more than 2.30% after a Russian low-cost carrier pulled out of the Boeing 737 MAX contracts.

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