Investor Optimism Edges Lower; S&P 500 Settles Lower For Fifth Session

The CNN Money Fear and Greed index showed a slight decline in the overall market sentiment, while the index remained in the “Fear” zone on Thursday.

U.S. stocks closed mixed on Thursday, with the S&P 500 falling for a fifth straight session. All major indices are also on course to record losses this week, with the S&P 500 falling more than 2% so far during the week.

On the economic data front, U.S. initial jobless claims came in unchanged from the previous week at 212,000 for the week ending April 18, down from market expectations of 215,000. The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index increased 12 points to a reading of 15.5 in April, topping market estimates of 1.5.

D.R. Horton, Inc. DHI reported better-than-expected second-quarter financial results. After the closing bell, Netflix Inc  NFLX reported upbeat earnings and sales results for its first quarter.

Most sectors on the S&P 500 closed on a positive note, with communication services, utilities and consumer staples stocks recording the biggest gains on Thursday. However, information technology and consumer discretionary stocks bucked the overall market trend, closing the session lower.

The Dow Jones closed higher by around 22 points to 37,775.38 on Thursday. The S&P 500 fell 0.22% at 5,011.12, while the Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.52% at 15,601.50 during Thursday's session.

Investors are awaiting earnings results from The Procter & Gamble PG, American Express Company AXP and Schlumberger Limited SLB today.

At a current reading of 34.1, the index remained in the “Fear” zone on Thursday, versus a prior reading of 34.3.

What is CNN Business Fear & Greed Index?

The Fear & Greed Index is a measure of the current market sentiment. It is based on the premise that higher fear exerts pressure on stock prices, while higher greed has the opposite effect. The index is calculated based on seven equal-weighted indicators. The index ranges from 0 to 100, where 0 represents maximum fear and 100 signals maximum greediness.

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