Nasdaq closes at record high amid economic data

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New York, Sep 7 (IANS) US stocks extended gains on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq Composite Index closing at new record high.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 46.16 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 18,538.12. The S&P 500 gained 6.50 points, or 0.30 per cent, to 2,186.48. The Nasdaq increased 26.01 points, or 0.50 per cent, to 5,275.91, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Non-Manufacturing Index, which measures activity in the US service sector, registered 51.4 per cent in August, 4.1 percentage points lower than the July reading and missing market consensus of 55.0, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said in its monthly survey on Tuesday.

“The best that can be said for the August ISM indices is that they have been less reliable guides lately than in the past. If they are to be trusted, the economy is sliding into the worst soft patch of the expansion to date,” said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, in a note.

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Meanwhile, investors were still sifting through the country’s August jobs report released last week.

US total non-farm payroll employment increased by 151,000 in August, well below market consensus of 175,000, and the unemployment rate remained at 4.9 per cent, according to the Labour Department.

The weaker-than-expected August jobs report eased fears that the Federal Reserve would begin its next rate hike as soon as September, since the Federal Open Market Committee is set to meet on September 20-21.

Overseas, European equities ended mixed on Tuesday.

German benchmark DAX index at Frankfurt Stock Exchange rose 0.14 per cent, while British benchmark FTSE 100 Index fell 0.78 per cent.

In Asia, Chinese stocks rallied Tuesday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index going up 0.61 per cent to close at 3,090.71 points.

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