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  • US Stocks turn down on China tensions
  • May 29,2020  11:19
  • The US equity market finished volatile session lower on Thursday, 28 May 2020, snapping three days of winning streak, on raising jitters about a fresh standoff between the world's two largest economies after President Donald Trump announced plans to hold a news conference on Friday regarding China. However, market losses capped following the release of a better than expected initial jobless claims report and new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods. At closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 147.63 points, or 0.57%, to 25,400.64. The S&P 500 - a gauge of US retirement and education savings accounts sank 6.40 points, or 0.21%, to 3,029.73. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index lost 43.37 points, or 0.46%, to 9,368.99.

    Investors have been weighing China's approval of controversial new national security laws in Hong Kong. The move follows Trump threatening retaliation and the US attempting to hold a United Nations Security Council meeting on the legislation. The U.S. on Wednesday said it no longer considered Hong Kong highly autonomous under a 1992 law, a move that could lead to measures to limit Hong Kong's trade privileges and open the door to sanctions against individuals the U.S. sees as suppressing civil liberties in the territory.

    Markets rallied through most of the afternoon as investors cheered positive trends emerging from the latest jobless claims report.

    Meanwhile, the Commerce Department released a separate report showing a substantial decrease in new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods in the month of April. The report said durable goods orders plunged by 17.2% in April following a revised 16.6% nosedive in March. Also, the National Association of Realtors released a report showing a steep drop in pending home sales in the month of April.

    ECONOMIC NEWS: US Initial Jobless Claims Stay Over 2 Million-- US initial jobless claims dropped to 2.123 million, a decrease of 323,000 in the week ended May 23rd from the previous week's revised level of 2.446 million. With the decrease, jobless claims pulled back further off the record high of 6.867 million set in the week ended March 28th. While jobless claims have steadily decreased over the past several weeks, the number of claims since the coronavirus-induced lockdown now exceeds 40 million. The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also fell to 2.608 million, a decrease of 436,000 from the previous week's revised average of 3.044 million. Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, tumbled by 3.860 million to 21.052 million in the week ended May 16th.

    US Pending Home Sales Plunge 21.8% In April-- US pending home sales plunged by more than expected in the month of April, the National Association of Realtors revealed in a report on Thursday. NAR said its pending home sales index plummeted by 21.8% to 69.0 in April after tumbling by 20.8% to 88.2 in March. A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale. The steep drop in pending home sales in April reflected the biggest decline since NAR begin tracking such transactions in January 2001.

    US Durable Goods Orders Tumble 17.2% In April-- US durable goods orders plunged by 17.2% in April following a revised 16.6% nosedive in March, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday. The sharp decline in durable goods orders was partly due to a continued nosedive in orders for transportation equipment, which cratered by 47.3% in April after plunging by 43.1% in March. Excluding the steep drop in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders tumbled by 7.4% in April after falling by 1.7% in March.

    Among Indian ADR, ICICI Bank fell 0.35% to $8.48, Tata Motors 1.03% to $5.75, Wipro 1.92% to $3.06, and INFOSYS 1.71% to $9.19, while HDFC Bank rose 0.69% to $41.10, Dr Reddys Labs climbed up 1.32% to $51.42, and Vedanta added 0.42% to $4.79.

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