Stocks had a mixed session following hawkish comments from a pair of Fed presidents. Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said he "somewhat reluctantly" supported the rate cut last month and he thinks the Fed should be on hold for now and monitor how things play out, while Kansas City Fed President Esther George also said she doesn't believe the economy needs more accommodation. Investors are waiting on the Jackson Hole speaker they really want to hear from, Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who will be giving a speech tomorrow morning at 10 am ET. Hopes are high that the Chairman will signal further policy stimulus is coming, as has been repeatedly requested by President Trump.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., Markit's flash manufacturing PMI reading for August fell 0.5 ticks to 49.9, marking its lowest level since September 2009. Initial jobless claims dropped 12,000 to 209,000 in the week ended August 17, which was a larger decline than expected. The leading economic index bounced 0.5% to 112.2 in July, hitting a fresh record high.
TOP NEWS: Shares of Nordstrom (JWN) jumped 16% after the department store operator reported better than expected bottom-line results despite a quarterly sales miss. Of note, Nordstrom also said it thinks any tariff impact will be relatively immaterial for the year on its earnings conference call.
L Brands (LB) shares fell 3.5% despite the parent of Victoria's Secret and Bath and Body Works reporting better than expected second quarter earnings and backing its FY19 earnings view.
Shares of Splunk (SPLK) slipped 7.8% after the company reported better than expected quarterly results on Wednesday and announced it is acquiring SignalFx, but have since moved into negative territory as investors focus on the company's operating cash flow guidance reduction. Citing the cash flow outlook cut and unclear visibility, Baird analyst Rob Oliver downgraded the stock to Neutral.
Shares of News Corp (NWSA) were in focus after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company is working on a news-aggregation serviced called Knewz.com designed to address concerns that Google News (GOOGL), Facebook (FB), and other digital platforms don't reward publishers' work adequately and play down articles from certain kinds of sites. The service is anticipated to be a website and mobile app, according to the Journal.
Meanwhile, Overstock.com (OSTK) shares surged 8.3% after CEO Patrick Bryne resigned from the company. Allison Abraham, chair of the board, announced the naming of Jonathan Johnson III as the company's interim CEO in the wake of Byrne's resignation.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was GameStop (GME), which rose x% after "Big Short" investor Michael Burry said he is going long on the shares. Also higher were BJ's Wholesale (BJ) and Pure Storage (PSTG), which gained a respective 17.2% and 15.6% after reporting quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was Retrophin (RTRX), which slid over 22% after the Phase 3 FORT study did not meet its primary or secondary endpoints. Also lower was 1-800-Flowers.com (FLWS), which fell 11.9% after reporting quarterly results.
INDEXES: The Dow rose 49.51, or 0.19%, to 26,252.24, the Nasdaq lost 28.82, or 0.36%, to 7,991.39, and the S&P 500 declined 1.48, or 0.05%, to 2,922.95.