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  • US stocks stay relatively calm, post small gains on Thursday.
  • 5 out of 11 major S&P 500 sectors trade in negative territory.
  • US economy is expected to contract by 5% in first quarter.

Major equity indexes opened modestly higher on Thursday as investors seem to be taking a step back while assessing the latest macroeconomic data releases from the US. As of writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were both up 0.2% on the day and the Nasdaq Composite was flat at 9,442 points.

Energy shares underperform

The US Bureau of Economic Analysis’ second estimate showed that the real Gross Domestic Product is expected to decline by in the first quarter of 2020. This reading came in worse than the previous estimate and the market expectation of -4.8%.

Other data revealed that 2.1 million American applied for unemployment benefits in the week ending May 23rd and Durable Goods Orders fell by 17.2% in April to beat analysts’ forecast for a decline of 19%.

Among the 11 major S&P 500 sectors, the Energy Index is down 1% on the day as the top-decliner. On the other hand, the defensive Utilities Index is up nearly 2%.