S&P 500, Nasdaq, Dow Jones wobble through shaky session following recent plunge

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Wall Street lacked clear direction on Thursday, with all the major US equity indices spending time on either side of the unchanged mark. The uncertain action came as investors attempted to regain their bearings after the previous day’s massive selloff.

Stocks decreases early in the session, adding to the dramatic slide that took place the day before, when retail stocks led the market lower big concerns about the health of the consumer and the threat of a recession. The market bounced back in the middle of the day, with the major averages all moving into positive territory during late trading.

However, this rebound quickly fizzled and Wall Street found itself back in negative territory by the close. The S&P 500 (SP500) is -0.6%the Nasdaq (COMP.IND) is -0.3% and the Dow (DJI) -0.8%.

The Dow Jones was the worst performer among the major averages, falling 236.94 points to close at 31,253.13. An earnings-related slide in Cisco weighed on the index.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 slipped 22.90 points to end at 3,900.78. The Nasdaq ended the session at 11,388.50, a decline of 29.66 points.

Eight of the 11 S&P finished sectors the day in the red. Consumer Staples led the retreat, falling by about 2%. Info Tech also recorded a decline of more than 1%.

“If the S&P 500 does see a 7th week in negative territory, then that would be the longest run of weekly declines for the index since 2001,” Deutsche Bank’s Jim Reid said.

Turning to the bond market, the 10-year Treasury yield slipped 3 basis points to 2.85%, while the 2-year yield dropped 5 basis points to 2.62%. With Thursday’s action, the spread between the 2-year and 10-year Treasury hovered around 20 basis points.

“We effectively had a bubble in long-duration assets, that bubble is now deflating,” Richard Bernstein said on Bloomberg TV.

On the economic front, the Philly Fed index fell much more than expected to 2.6, but the prices paid component also dropped. But jobless claims hit a four-month high.

“The supply chain numbers are mixed, with unfilled orders rebounding after an inexplicable plunge in April, but delivery times were little changed; both are well down from their highs but are still elevated by normal standards,” Pantheon Macro said. “Prices paid dipped but likely will rebound in June on the back of higher oil prices.”

The firm added: “We’re much less happy, though, about the second straight drop in capex plans for the next six months, to 9.6, from 19.9 in April and 24.8 in March. This might just be noise, or a temporary reaction to the surge in energy prices, but if it is sustained and replicated across the country, it would send a clear signal of a potential softening in capex.”

Synopsys (SNPS) was among the biggest gainers in the S&P 500, rising on strong earnings and guidance. On the downside, Cisco (CSCO) ranked among the worst performers, dropping in the wake of a disappointing quarterly report.

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