US stocks close mixed amid economic data

New York: US stocks closed mixed on Thursday, as investors digested the latest economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 164.70 points, or 0.66 per cent, to 24,962.48. The S&P 500 increased 2.63 points, or 0.10 per cent, to 2,703.96, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 8.14 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 7,210.09.

Major indices gave up sharp gains on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve’s January meeting minutes sent the benchmark 10-year US Treasury yield to 2.956 per cent, its highest level in four years. On Thursday, the yield traded lower at about 2.919 per cent.

According to the minutes, Fed officials see increased economic growth and an uptick in inflation as justification to continue to raise interest rates gradually.

On the economic front, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell to a near 45-year low last week.

In the week ending on February 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 222,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 1,000 from 230,000 to 229,000.

The four-week moving average was 226,000, a decrease of 2,250 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 250 from 228,500 to 228,250.