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Wall Street ends mixed, S&P 500 hits record

English.news.cn   2014-03-07 07:08:24

NEW YORK, March 6 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks shaved earlier gains to end in mixed territory Thursday, with the S&P 500 jumping to a record high, as the country's economic data came in mixed.

The S&P 500 added 3.22 points, or 0.17 percent, to 1,877.03, its second all-time closing high in the week. The broader S&P 500 also set a record intraday high of 1,881.94 in the day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 61.71 points, or 0.38 percent, to 16,421.89, while the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 5. 85 points, or 0.13 percent, to 4,352.13.

In the week ending March 1, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 323,000, a decrease of 26,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 349,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists had forecast the claims to drop to 338, 000.

A separate report from the Labor Department showed nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased at a 1.8-percent annual rate during the fourth quarter of 2013.

Moreover, the Commerce Department said new orders for manufactured goods in January decreased 0.7 percent, more than expected. Excluding volatile sector transportation, however, new orders increased 0.2 percent.

Recent economic weakness isn't enough to alter the Federal Reserve's plan to cut back its massive asset buying program at coming policy meetings, New York Fed President William Dudley told The Wall Street Journal Thursday.

Dudley also said he would advocate abolishing 6.5 percent unemployment rate as a threshold for considering a hike in short- term interest rates at the Fed's next meeting due on March 18-19.

Investors are also expecting the closely-watched nonfarm payrolls report for February due out Friday.

"Tomorrow's payroll report will certainly contain a lot of noise about the weather, but a third month in a row of weak job numbers will cause some to question the ability of this economy to produce meaningful job growth," said Jay Morelock, an economist at FTN Financial.

In corporate news, Costco Wholesale Corp. shares fell 2.76 percent to 113.26 U.S. dollars apiece, after the warehouse club operator reported a 15-percent decline in its net income for the fiscal second-quarter, missing analysts' expectations.

On the previous trading day, Wall Street closed narrowly mixed, with the S&P 500 briefly hitting a record intraday high, after major stock indices logged their best day this year.

The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered as a fear gauge of the market, increased 2.30 percent to 14.21.

In other markets, oil prices were little changed as worries over Ukraine continued to fade. Light, sweet crude for April delivery edged up 11 cents to settle at 101.56 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for April delivery gained 34 cents to close at 108.1 dollars a barrel.

Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange extended gains for the second session in a row, with the most active gold contract for April delivery up 11.5 dollars to settle at 1,351.8 dollars per ounce.

The U.S. dollar retreated against most major currencies and it fell sharply against the euro as the European Central Bank refrained from further monetary stimulus.

In late New York trading, the euro jumped to 1.3860 dollars from 1.3731 dollars in the previous session, and the British pound increased to 1.6742 dollars from 1.6712 dollars.

Editor: Yang Lina
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