U.S. stocks end mixed as investors parse Fed minutes, economic data

Source: Xinhua| 2021-08-20 04:32:29|Editor: huaxia
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Traders work at the trading floor in the New York Stock Exchange in New York, the United States, Aug. 19, 2021. The S&P 500 Index closed at 4,405.80 points, up 5.53 points, or 0.13 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 34,894.12 points, down 66.57 points, or 0.19 percent. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 14,541.79 points, up 15.88 points, or 0.11 percent. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)

NEW YORK, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks finished mixed on Thursday as investors digested the Federal Reserve's July meeting minutes and the latest economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased 66.57 points, or 0.19 percent, to 34,894.12. The S&P 500 was up 5.53 points, or 0.13 percent, to 4,405.80. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 15.87 points, or 0.11 percent, to 14,541.79.

Six of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors ended in green, with technology up 0.99 percent, leading the gainers. Energy slipped 2.65 percent, the worst-performing group.

U.S.-listed Chinese companies traded mostly lower with nine of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P U.S. Listed China 50 index ending the day on a downbeat note.

The above market reactions came as the Fed's meeting minutes released Wednesday showed most officials agreed to start tapering asset purchases this year, if "the economy were to evolve broadly as they anticipated."

The minutes also revealed that several other Fed officials indicated that a reduction in the pace of asset purchases was more likely to become appropriate early next year.

The Fed has pledged to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at the record-low level of near zero, while continuing its asset purchase program at least at the current pace of 120 billion U.S. dollars per month until "substantial further progress" has been made on employment and inflation.

On Wednesday, U.S. equities suffered a noticeable pullback with the Dow closing down 382 points, after the release of the Fed minutes.

On the economic front, U.S. initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, decreased by 29,000 to 348,000 in the week ending Aug. 14, marking a fresh pandemic-era low, the Department of Labor reported Thursday. Enditem

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KEY WORDS: US,Stocks,Mixed
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