US stocks experienced a mixed picture on Thursday (2 February) amid concerns about President Donald Trump's reported conflict with allies troubled investors. The Dow Jones and Nasdaq Composite narrowly fell, while the S&P 500 enjoyed a slim gain of 0.06%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 6.03 points, or 0.03%, to settle at 19,884.91. According to CNBC, UnitedHealth Group contributed the most to losses and Merck the most to gains. The Nasdaq Composite similarly fell 6.45 points, or 0.1%, to close at 5,636.20.
The S&P 500 managed to squeeze out a gain, edging up 1.3 points, or 0.06%, to finish at 2,280.85. Real estate led six of the eleven sectors higher, while telecommunications dragged.
"Every day there is a news explosion that is hijacking airwaves, pushing aside fundamentals that should matter to markets, like earnings," Thomas Siomades, head of Hartford Funds Investment Consulting Group, told MarketWatch. "You would think markets would be in a good place as earnings are coming stronger than expected and the Fed is not in a rush to raise rates due to some softness in the economy."
Investors are now looking ahead to the jobs report, which will be released on Friday (3 February). "Now that we're past the Fed, the next big worry for the market is the jobs report. I think investors are taking a wait-and-see approach ahead of the report," Adman Sarhan, CEO at 50 Park Investments, told CNBC. "So far, there have not been any economic disasters [since the election]; that's why you're seeing markets hold just below all-time highs."
CNBC noted that employment data has been strong, with ADP and Moody's report of private firms adding 246,000 jobs last month surpassing expectations.
US Treasury yields were also mixed, with the two-year yield near 1.21% and the 10-year yield around 2.47%. The US dollar jumped 0.15%, with the euro by $1.076 and the yen around 112.74.
According to MarketWatch, gold prices rose 0.8% while crude oil dropped 0.3%.