The Dow and S&P 500 both reached record levels in early trading, while the Nasdaq was flat. On Wednesday, the S&P 500 closed at a new high, it’s eighth of the year.
Investors are keeping an eye on jobs. The big report is due tomorrow, but there was modestly good news yesterday from the ADP release, and the Labor Department will share the latest figures on jobless claims today.
Across the pond, the European Central Bank said it will keep its key interest rate unchanged at 0.25%, as widely expected. But the central bank is facing growing pressure to do more to stimulate the Eurozone economy as risks of deflation rise and the euro remains stronger than some would prefer.
ECB President Mario Draghi tried to use words to calm the markets. He affirmed in a press conference the bank’s commitment to keep inflation at a healthy level, but he didn’t announce any new measures to prop up the economy.
European markets were mixed in afternoon trading following the announcement.
In corporate news, newly issued Google shares started trading Thursday as a result of the tech giant’s long-anticipated 2-for-1 stock split. The new class C shares, which trade under the original “GOOG,” symbol and have no voting rights, rose in morning trading. Old Google class A shares, which retained their voting rights and trade under the new symbol, “GOOGL,” were also up.
Shares of both classes of Google began trading at around $570 — roughly half the value of Wednesday’s closing price, but the A shares are trading slightly higher, as expected.
Shares of Pandora popped after the internet radio service released figures showing notable jumps in its number of active listeners March. The number of hours listened for the month also rose.
Netflix continued its slide Thursday. After a huge run, shares of the entertainment site have pulled back about 20% in the past month as the company faces growing concerns about its high valuation and increasing competition.
Yelp shares reversed course after falling more than 5% Wednesday after the Wall Street Journal reported that the review site receives around six subpoenas each month, often relating to business owners suing the company.
Asian markets ended mixed, shrugging off news of a mini-stimulus package in China. After an initial boost, the Shanghai Composite closed 0.7% lower. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng finished narrowly firmer.