S&P 500, Nasdaq fall from records amid Kabul explosion, mixed economic data

File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

Aug. 26 (UPI) — U.S. markets fell from record highs as reports of a deadly explosion in Afghanistan cast a shadow over mixed economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 192.38 points, or 0.54%, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.58% and the Nasdaq Composite closed the day down 0.64% as the two indexes snapped a five-day winning streak.

Markets reacted to a report by the Pentagon that at least 12 U.S. service members were among dozens killed in an explosion near Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, as the United States attempts to evacuate people from Afghanistan.

Energy stocks were among the biggest losers with Diamondback Energy dropping 2.57%, while Occidental Petroleum fell 2.56% and APA Corp slid 2.43%.

Travel stocks also reversed from a three-day rally to start the week as Royal Caribbean fell 3.33%, Norwegian Cruise Line stock fell 2.76% and Carnival dropped 2.65%.

U.S. unemployment claims rose to 353,000 new jobless claims last week, an increase of 4,000 filings from the previous week but remained near a pandemic low.

The Commerce Department on Thursday also revised economic growth for the second quarter to 6.6% up from the 6.5% annual increase it previously reported.

Thursday also saw investors monitor the start of the Federal Reserve’s Jackson Hole Economic Symposium in Wyoming where Chairman Jerome Powell is slated to speak on Friday.

Traders have been eagerly awaiting information from the central bank on how it plans to ramp down its monthly bond-buying program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We don’t think the Fed is going to do anything suddenly and we really don’t think Chairman Powell is going to indicate that they’re ready to move policy anytime soon, Wells Fargo Senior Macro Strategist Zach Griffiths told Yahoo Finance, adding that he expects the taper to be “in full effect” in 2022 and be completed by the end of that year.


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