The Nasdaq briefly broke above its record closing high Thursday but retreated along with the S&P 500, snapping a four-day winning streak ahead of Friday's jobs report. The drop came as the government reported higher-than-expected jobless claims and a widening trade deficit. The Nasdaq lost seven-tenths percent, the S&P 500 fell a third of a percent, and the Dow finished flat.
Crossmark Global Investments chief market strategist Victoria Fernandez:
"We see the markets taking a little bit of a pause. It shouldn't be too much of a surprise. We've had a huge run-up."
And that might be an understatement. From the market bottom in March, stocks have come roaring back. The S&P is up almost 40 percent, and the Nasdaq has recovered all of its losses and now sits just under its highest levels ever. That despite protests across America, a health crisis, and the worst economy in generations.
But there are signs that the outlook for corporate America is looking up.
American Airlines fueled a sharp rally in airline stocks Thursday. The carrier it said it plans to aggressively boost flights in July after seeing demand improve in May. Shares jumped more than 40%.
eBay jumped. The e-commerce company raised its revenue and profit outlook for the current quarter as people staying at home ordered more goods off its platform.
But with many schools and restaurants still closed, the maker of Jif peanut butter, J.M. Smucker, is seeing slower sales to its food service clients, so it forecast sales for the full year would decline. That drove down its shares.
On Friday, investors' eyes will be on the jobs report for May. Economists look for payrolls to fall by 8 million, less than half of April's steep plunge.