US stocks traded lower weighed down by an unexpected decline in weekly jobless claims, renewed concerns over Greece defaulting on its debts, and a tumble in Chinese equities.
The stocks were also weighed down by comments by the president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve that the US central bank was likely to raise the interest rates this year.
Speaking to the Monetary Authority of Singapore, President John Williams also said that the Federal Reserve should stop using interest rate policy to address financial volatility in the US.
Greece’s international creditors reported before the bell today that the two parties are still far apart on a credit relief package for the cash strapped nation before next week’s deadline.
Chinese stocks also plummeted after brokerage firms announced tougher restrictions on stock trading. The benchmark Shanghai Composite declined 6.5%
“It’s kind of the same movie we’ve seen over and over,” Karyn Cavanaugh, the New York-based senior market strategist at Voya Investment Management LLC which oversees $215 billion, told Bloomberg.
“We’re worried about what’s going on with the Fed, we’re worried about what’s going on with Greece. Then there’s always the strong dollar, throw a little of that in the mix and low oil prices, so the market is a little bit hard to predict on a day-to-day basis.”
The S&P 500 index most recently slipped 7.64 points or 0.37% at 2115.55 to partially erase gains from Wednesday’s rally.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average most recently edged 85 points or 0.4% lower at 18,076 points.
The technology heavy Nasdaq Composite slipped by 22 points or 0.4% at 5082 points to retreat from its all time high close recorded yesterday.
“The trading range of the S&P 500 has tightened and we expect further summer slowdown, as there is not going to be much to jolt the market in either direction until the Federal Reserve begins raising interest rates.” Tim Dreiling, senior portfolio manager at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank, told Market Watch.
The Fed is most likely to start in September, but it will not do anything that will be disruptive to the markets.”
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