The three major U.S. stock market indices fell Thursday despite positive employment data from the U.S. Department of Labor. At the 4:00pm Eastern Time closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was at 13,046.14 points; a 1.46 percent drop from Wednesday’s closing level of 13,124.62. The NASDAQ Composite closed at 3,063.32 – down 0.39% while the S&P 500 declined 0.72% 1,392.78 points.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, initial unemployment claims dropped 5,000 for the week ending March 17th to 353,000. The four week moving average for new jobless filings is 355,000 which is down 1,250 from the previous week.
Jobless claims together with new employment are key to the overall short and long term of the nation. According to a recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, new job creation is up on a monthly basis with growth in Professional Business services, Health Care and Mining.
Crude Oil Prices
The price of crude oil has remained steady over the last few weeks and closed Thursday at $105.58 per barrel; a 0.22 percent jump from Wednesday. Tensions between the United Nations allies and Iran have apparently eased temporarily while diplomatic UN efforts are attempted to reign-in Iran’s uranium enrichment program. As a response to sanctions, Iran has threatened to shut down non-friendly traffic traveling through the Strait of Hormuz, where nearly one sixth of the world’s oil supply passes on a daily basis.
Some analysts are predicting a short-term stability in oil and gasoline prices for the next 5 to 10 business days while at the same time forecasting rising prices beyond early spring and into the summer months.
Gold closed at a daily increase of $1.70 to $1,645.70 per ounce while silver rose $0.20 to $31.59. Palladium and platinum experienced similar upward moves Thursday but remained relatively stable. Precious metals have dropped consistently over the past month as a new Greek sovereign debt bailout was approved by European Union finance ministers.
The interest rate on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes has risen substantially over the past two weeks and closed Thursday at 2.28 percent. Treasury yields are generally considered a reliable gauge to measure investor appetite for U.S. sovereign debt. Declining demand could mean that investors have begun transferring assets back to EU nations now that the Greece issue has been temporarily settled.
The country of Greece ultimately reached a deal with its creditors that resulted in private bondholders accepting new notes worth less than half of their original value. Despite the deal and subsequent bailout loan authorization, many believe that the Greek government will ultimately default due to an enormous amount of debt obligations.
If you’re looking into investing in your retirement, then you’ve come to the right place. IRA.com has a number of resources available for beginners who would like to find out more about IRAs. You can also visit our sections on the IRA Basics and IRA Rules to study up and decide whether retirement investing is for you.
Once you are ready to get started, click on the following link to Find an Advisor in your area who can discuss a customized investment strategy built for your specific needs. You can also Open an IRA through us for as little as $1 in a matter of 5 minutes with the click on the mouse. For all your IRA needs, be sure to check back frequently here at IRA.com.