Stocks moved lower in late-morning trading Thursday following suicide attacks at the Kabul airport in Afghanistan, with reports of multiple deaths and casualties.
The S&P 500 index was down 0.3% as of 11:20 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1% and the Nasdaq composite fell 0.3%.
Twin suicide bombings struck Thursday outside Kabul’s airport, where large crowds of people trying to flee Afghanistan have massed, killing at least 13 people, Russian officials said. The airport had been the focus of NATO evacuations from the country after the Taliban took over last week.
Before the attack, most of the market's attention was on the Federal Reserve. The Federal annual two-day convention started in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Thursday. Fed Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak on Friday.
Traders are betting that Fed officials will remain in a “wait and see” mode regarding inflation, since most policymakers believe any inflation earlier this year would be temporary and the rise in COVID-19 cases has made some economists worried.
That said, yields have been moving steadily higher in the bond market in the past week, which could be a sign that traders are preparing for the Fed to start winding down its emergency support measures in the coming months. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was trading at 1.36%, up from 1.34% the day before.
Investors got a small bit of good economic data on Thursday. Jobless claims edged up by 4,000 to 353,000 from a pandemic low 349,000 a week earlier, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The four-week average fell by 11,500 to 366,500. That's the lowest since mid-March 2020.
Salesforce.com was one of the biggest gainers, rising more than 4% after the company’s quarterly results easily beat analysts’ expectations. The company also raised its full-year outlook.
Companies that report their results after Thursday's closing bell include technology giant HP, as well as Gap.