US stocks drift lower amid economic data

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New York, Sep 2 (IANS) US stocks reversed early gains to trade lower as Wall Street digested a batch of economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday fell 77.52 points, or 0.42 per cent, to 18,323.36, Xinhua news agency reported.

The S&P 500 dipped 10.15 points, or 0. 47 per cent, to 2,160.80.

The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 11.02 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 5,202.20.

In the week ending August 27, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims was 263,000, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 261,000, the US Labor Department announced on Thursday.

The four-week moving average was 263,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 264,000.

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In a separate report, the department reported that US non-farm business sector labor productivity decreased at a 0.6-per cent annual rate during the second quarter of 2016, as output increased 1.1 per cent and hours worked increased 1.7 per cent.

The August purchasing managers’ index registered 49.4 per cent, a decrease of 3.2 percentage points from the July reading of 52.6 per cent, according to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Thursday.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Commerce announced on Thursday that construction spending during July 2016 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,153.2 billion, nearly the same as the revised June estimate.

Investors also kept a close eye on Friday’s non-farm payrolls report. If the US labor market is robust enough, analysts said it is possible for the US central bank to hike interest rates as soon as September.

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On Wednesday, US stocks retreated further as investors pondered over the country’s better-than-expected ADP employment report.



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