Unemployment claims down

U.S. Stocks Tumble After Jobless Claims Data

The Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite all declined on Thursday.

The Dow and broader U.S. stock market traded lower on Thursday, as investors reacted to an unexpected rise in weekly jobless claims.

Wall Street’s major indices were lower at the close, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) falling 175.05 points, or 0.5%, to 36,115.27.

The broad S&P 500 Index (SPY) of large-cap stocks declined 1.4% to settle at 4,659.25. Most sectors finished in negative territory.

Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ) fell 2.5% to close at 14,806.81.

A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (VXX) rose sharply on Thursday. The so-called “investor fear index” reached an intraday high of 20.14 on a scale of 1-100, where 20 represents the historical average. It would eventually settle up 14.3% at 20.12.

In commodities, oil prices declined on Thursday, as U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures fell $1.03, or 1.3%, to $81.61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the international futures contract, fell 73 cents, or 0.9%, to $83.94 a barrel.

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In precious metals, gold prices declined, as the February futures contract fell $5.80, or 0.3%, to $1,821.50 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Silver futures declined 8 cents, or 0.4%, to trade at $23.13 a troy ounce.

The Final Word: In economic data, U.S. jobless claims totaled 230,000 in the week ended Jan. 8, up 23,000 from the prior week, according to data from the Labor Department. Analysts were expecting claims to fall 200,000.