Stocks Give Back Ground Following Recent Upward Trend

Stocks have moved mostly lower in early trading on Thursday, giving back ground following the upward trend seen over the past several sessions. The major averages have all moved to the downside, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq underperforming its counterparts.

In recent trading, the major averages have climbed off their worst levels, but they remain in the red. The Dow is down 80.17 points or 0.4 percent at 23,077.43, the Nasdaq is down 49.21 points or 0.7 percent at 6,575.02 and the S&P 500 is down 9.42 points or 0.4 percent at 2,551.84.

The weakness on Wall Street is partly due to profit taking after the major averages once again climbed to new record closing highs in the previous session.

A negative reaction to the latest batch of earnings news has inspired some traders to cash in on the recent strength in the markets.

Shares of eBay (EBAY) have come under pressure after the e-commerce giant reported third quarter earnings that met analyst estimates but provided disappointing guidance.

Tobacco giant Philip Morris (PM) is also posting a notable loss after reporting weaker than expected third quarter earnings and revenues.

Shares of American Express (AXP) have climbed off their worst levels but continue to see modest weakness after the credit card giant reported better than expected third quarter results but also announced the retirement of CEO Kenneth Chenault.

On the U.S. economic front, a report released by the Labor Department showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by much more than anticipated in the week ended October 14th.

The report said initial jobless claims dropped to 222,000, a decrease of 22,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 244,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 240,000.

With the much bigger than expected decrease, initial jobless claims fell to their lowest level since hitting a matching figure in March of 1973.

A separate report from the Federal Reserve Bank Of Philadelphia showed regional…

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