“We’re seeing a number of indications of a softening economy,” said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank. “We’re growing but it seems like we’re slipping back into the slow-growth trend that’s been in place for most of the recovery.”
Still, the broader market has stood its ground, with the S&P and Dow up marginally for the week, while the Nasdaq was had risen 1.34 percent in the same period.
“Oil is becoming less important since it only makes up about 6 percent of the S&P 500”, said Maris Ogg, president at Tower Bridge Advisors. “In the overall context of things, we know that oil is the new coal and gas is the new oil. Crude just isn’t a commodity in short supply.”
Wall Street also kept an eye on Washington as the Senate was prepared to unveil a draft of their health care bill, which aims at repealing and replacing Obamacare.
CNBC learned earlier on Thursday that the bill would would structure subsidies to insurance customers based on their incomes, phase out Medicaid’s expansion program and take out Obamacare taxes.
Health care stocks rose sharply on Wednesday as biotechnology spiked.
In corporate news, shares of American Airlines jumped more than 2.5 percent after the airline disclosed Qatar Airways had approached the firm about taking a large stake in the company. Other airline stocks like Delta Air Lines, Southwest and United followed American shares higher.