US stocks end mixed

New York, Dec 25 (IANS) US stocks closed narrowly mixed with thin volumes as Wall Street assessed a continued recovery in oil prices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 50.44 points, or 0.29 percent, to 17,552.17 on Thursday, Xinhua reported. The S&P 500 lost 3.30 points, or 0.16 percent, to 2,060.99. The Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 2.56 points, or 0.05 percent, to 5,048.49.

Oil prices continued to rise on Thursday after an unexpected fall in US inventories, but still trading near multi-year lows.

On the economic front, in the week ending December 19, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 267,000, a decreased of 5,000 from the previous week’s revised level and slightly below the marker expectations, according to the US Labor Department on Thursday.

The 4-week moving average was 272,500, an increase of 1,750 from the previous week’s revised average.

US stock markets were closed early on Thursday, and will be shut on Friday for Christmas Day.

For the holiday-shortened week, all three major indices posted solid gains, with the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq jumping 2.5 percent, 2.8 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively.

The CBOE Volatility Index, often referred to as Wall Street’s fear gauge, rose 1.09 percent to end at 15.74 on Thursday.

In other markets, oil prices continued to rise on Thursday as US crude stockpiles decreased.

The West Texas Intermediate for February delivery moved up 60 cents to settle at $38.1 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for February delivery increased 53 cents to close at $37.89 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

The US dollar edged down against most major currencies on Thursday on investors’ profit-taking.

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