US stocks trade lower ahead of Fed speech following tepid labor-market data

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Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is due to speak on Thursday.

US stocks edged lower on Thursday as investors grappled with a spike in interest rates and continued weakness in the high-growth technology sector.

Jobless claims rose to 745,000 for the week that ended on Saturday, a slight increase from the prior week’s revised total of 736,000. The reading barely beat economic forecasts of 750,000 claims.

Investors are likely to look for any clues about how the Federal Reserve is thinking about the recent rise in interest rates when Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at The Wall Street Journal’s Jobs Summit on Thursday afternoon.

Here’s where US indexes stood after the 10:14 a.m. ET open on Thursday:

The billionaire investor Ron Baron told CNBC on Thursday that despite his long-term bullishness on Tesla, he had sold about 25% of his clients’ stake in the electric-vehicle manufacturer after its position became too concentrated.

The weakness in technology stocks hasn’t stopped Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest from buying the dip in high-flying stocks. Ark’s daily trading disclosures indicated that the firm bought millions of shares of Palantir on Wednesday amid the decline.

Going public in the US via a special-purpose acquisition company has reportedly caught the interest of Flipkart, the Indian e-commerce giant owned by Walmart.

Gabe Plotkin’s Melvin Capital, which was at the center of the GameStop short-squeeze earlier this year, recouped some of its losses and gained 22% in February.

Oil prices were higher. West Texas Intermediate crude jumped as much as 1.68%, to $62.30 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, rose by 1.79%, to $65.23 per barrel.

Gold fell 0.23%, to $1,712 per ounce.