US stocks edge lower as investors weigh better-than-expected jobless claims against stimulus worries

Bryan R Smith/Reuters
  • US stocks edged lower as investors weighed better-than-expected jobless claims against stimulus worries.
  • Gold notched another record high as investors continue to pile into the safe-haven asset.
  • Investors continue to watch for signs of progress on the next stimulus bill from Washington.
  • Read more on Business Insider.

US stocks edged lower on Thursday as investors weighed better-than-expected jobless claims against stimulus worries.

Futures pared earlier losses and turned positive after initial claims for unemployment insurance were 1.2 million in the week ending Saturday, less than the 1.4 million economists expected. The figure marked a decline from the previous week, and the lowest number of filings yet amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But concerns remains around the ability of Republicans and Democrats to agree upon a new stimulus bill. Negotiations are ongoing as the two parties haggle over how much additional unemployment insurance to extend to out-of-work Americans.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET market open on Thursday:

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Earnings season continued. Shares of Bristol-Meyers Squibb rose after the company reported profits that exceeded Wall Street’s expectations. GoDaddy gained after its own earnings beat expectations as well.

Bausch Health skyrocketed after the company said it would spin off it’s popular eye-care business, Bausch + Lomb.

Gold’s rally to fresh highs continued. The precious metal rose above $US2,050 an ounce as investors flocked to the safe-haven asset.

On Friday, the government will release its July nonfarm payrolls report, showing how the labour market fared in the latest month of the coronavirus pandemic recession and recovery. Economists expect that the US economy added 1.5 million jobs in July, a positive but slowed pace from earlier months.

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