- Consumer spending, incomes beat forecasts
- ISM manufacturing rises ahead of estimates
- Jobless claims unexpectedly rise
- T-Mobile US up on customer growth, Sprint speculation
Dow Jones: -0.08%
US stocks opened more or less flat on Thursday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average pausing at a record high as investors digested upbeat consumer spending and manufacturing figures, as well as a surprise increase in jobless claims.
The Dow was trading 0.1% lower in morning trade, having reached an all-time high of 16,580.84 on Wednesday, the S&P 500
fell 0.1%, while the Nasdaq gained 0.1%.
Markets had risen the previous session after the Federal Open Market Committee chose to continue reducing its quantitative easing programme by a further $10bn a month, as was widely expected. The decision came despite figures yesterday showing that the US economy almost stagnated in the first quarter, with gross domestic product (GDP) expanding by just 0.1% on an annualised rate.
In economic data today, consumer spending and incomes in the States both increased in March, with growth accelerating from the prior month. Spending and incomes rose by 0.9% and 0.5%, respectively, ahead of forecasts.
"While these data were already incorporated in the first-quarter 2014 advance GDP release, they suggest solid momentum in underlying goods and services spending going into the second quarter of 2014, and we project another 3% increase in consumer spending on the quarter," said Analyst Dean Maki from Barclays.
An index measuring activity in the US manufacturing sector, as measured by the Institute for Supply Management, rose to 54.9 in April from 53.7 the month before, ahead of the 54.3 forecast.
Meanwhile, US jobless claims unexpectedly rose to a nine-week high of 344,000 last week from a revised 333,000 the week before, according to data from the Labor Department. The consensus forecast was for a drop to 320,000.
T-Mobile surges on customer growth
Shares in T-Mobile US rallied after the company added 1.3m new monthly subscribers during the first three months of the year, its highest ever quarterly gain.
T-Mobile US was also boosted by reports that larger telecoms firm Sprint has met with banks to make debt arrangements in a potential bid for the company.
Oil major Exxon Mobil was subdued early on despite reporting a less-than-expected 1% decline in earnings per share (EPS). Sector peer ConocoPhillips, however, impressed with its quarterly results as adjusted EPS rose 27%.
Auto major Ford declined after saying that US vehicle sales declined to 211,126 units in April, down 0.7% on a year earlier. General Motors, however, gained after reporting 6.9% growth.
Front month West Texas crude futures were down by 0.53% to the $99.22/barrel mark on the NYMEX.
10-year US Treasury yields edged higher by one basis point to 2.65%.