US stocks end lower

New York, Feb 19 (IANS) The US stocks drifted lower after wavering in a tight range on Thursday, as oil prices pared early gains amid worries about a global supply glut.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 40.40 points, or 0.25 percent, to 16,413.43. The S&P 500 decreased 8.99 points, or 0.47 percent, to 1,917.83. The Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 46.53 points, or 1.03 percent, to 4,487.54, reports Xinhua.

Oil prices shaved sharp early gains to end mixed Thursday after government data showed a rise in the US crude stockpiles.

On Wednesday, oil prices rocketed after Iran supported output freeze deal proposed by top producers Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Persistent oversupply, bloated inventories and a slew of negative economic news dragged crude prices to 12-year lows.

On the economic front, in the week ending February 13, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 262,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 269, 000, the US Labour Department reported on Thursday.

The four-week moving average was 273,250, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 281,250.

In corporate news, shares of Wal-Mart tumbled 3.01 percent to $64.12 apiece on Thursday, after the company delivered quarterly earnings above market expectations but revenues shy of forecast. The world’s largest retailer also lowered its estimate for sales growth in the fiscal year 2017.

Overseas, European equities also finished mixed on Thursday amid oil volatile. German benchmark DAX index at Frankfurt Stock Exchange added 0.92 percent, while British benchmark FTSE 100 Index lost 0.97 percent.

In Asia, Chinese benchmark Shanghai Composite Index trimmed initial gains to end 0.16 percent lower Thursday, while Japanese 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average surged 2.28 percent, spurred by rising oil prices and a well-performed US stocks market overnight.

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