US stocks opened lower on Thursday as investors reacted to a speech on inflation dynamics and monetary policy from US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 135.29 points, or 0.83 percent, to close at 16,144.60, Xinhua reported.
The S&P 500 shed 12.81 points, or 0.66 percent, to close at 1,925.95. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 33.40 points, or 0.70 percent, to close at 4,719.35.
Traders are focusing on Yallen’s comments on inflation, one week after the Fed decided to leave its benchmark rate unchanged, Xinhua reported.
Some analysts believed uncertainty about the timing of interest rate hikes by the central bank had led to increased volatility.
On the economic front, in the week ending September 19, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 267,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level, according to the US Labor Department Thursday.
The US Commerce Department announced that new orders for manufactured durable goods in August declined $4.8 billion or two percent to $236.3 billion.
In corporate news, shares of Caterpillar fell over seven percent in the morning session on Thursday, due to the company’s cutting up to 5,000 jobs and lowered guidance.
US stocks ended mildly lower after fluctuating between gains and losses on Wednesday, as investors assessed European Central Bank president Mario Draghi’s remarks about monetary stimulus policy.