Markets

Closing Bell 7/16/20: Stocks Step Back

Rising cases of coronavirus across the U.S. and elevated first-time unemployment claims weighed on the market.

Despite encouraging economic news, stocks retreated today as investors worried about the rising COVID-19 caseload across the U.S. We learned retail sales jumped a better-than-expected 7.5% in June, thanks to reopened stores.

But states are responding to the virus' spread by maintaining or increasing restrictions on businesses, which threatens to chip away at any nascent economic recovery. Another 1.3 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment claims last week.

"Initial claims remain stubbornly elevated and, if taken at face value, suggest that the churn in labor markets remains at unprecedented levels," wrote Michael Gapen, U.S. chief economist at Barclays.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5% to finish Thursday at 26,734.

Don't Sleep on Industrials

It might have been a down day for the market, but one sector held up surprisingly well. Industrials stocks were essentially unchanged Thursday, and a number of individual industrials names in the Dow actually finished the session with gains -- such as 3M (+0.7%) and Caterpillar (+0.2%).

As highly cyclical stocks, industrials are expected to underperform when economic times are tough. But just because the broader sector is down for the year to date, that doesn't mean analysts can't find great blue-chip industrials to buy. And if you're an income investor, you should know that many of the world's most dependable dividend stocks hail from the industrials sector of the market. Indeed, some industrials even count among Wall Street pros' favorite stock picks

Coming Up Next

Financial stocks will be in focus Friday. You can check out what to expect from BlackRock (BLK), Citizens Financial (CFG) and State Street (STT), and see which other companies are reporting, on our weekly earnings calendar.

Most Popular

Where's My Refund? How to Track Your Tax Refund Status
tax refunds

Where's My Refund? How to Track Your Tax Refund Status

If you're waiting for your tax refund, the IRS has an online tool that lets you track the status of your payment.
March 2, 2021
Where's My Stimulus Check? Use the IRS's "Get My Payment" Portal to Get an Answer
Coronavirus and Your Money

Where's My Stimulus Check? Use the IRS's "Get My Payment" Portal to Get an Answer

The IRS has an online tool that lets you track the status of your stimulus checks.
February 19, 2021
Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021

Recommended

13 Dividend Stocks That Have Paid Investors for 100+ Years
stocks

13 Dividend Stocks That Have Paid Investors for 100+ Years

Here are 13 dividend stocks that each boast a rich history of uninterrupted payouts to shareholders that stretch back at least a century.
May 21, 2020
Stock Market Today 3/3/21: Crash? Not Today. But Stocks Still Feel Pain.
Stock Market Today

Stock Market Today 3/3/21: Crash? Not Today. But Stocks Still Feel Pain.

A small rise in weekly jobless claims and comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell sparked a scare in stocks Thursday, though the losses could've been wo…
March 4, 2021
Stock Market Today 3/3/21: Growth Stocks Gashed
Stock Market Today

Stock Market Today 3/3/21: Growth Stocks Gashed

A stingier stimulus measure, conflicting news on the COVID front and upward creep in interest rates helped send growthier stocks to the cleaners Wedne…
March 4, 2021
9 Stocks With Surprisingly Reliable Special Dividends
dividend stocks

9 Stocks With Surprisingly Reliable Special Dividends

Special dividends typically are one-time windfalls for investors. But a few companies regularly weave these payouts into their broader dividend strate…
March 3, 2021