New York, Sep 25 (IANS) US stocks fell for the third straight session on Thursday, as investors digested a batch of mixed economic reports ahead of US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s speech.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 78.57 points, or 0.48 percent, to 16,201.32, reported Xinhua.
The S&P 500 lost 6.52 points, or 0.34 percent, to 1,932.24. The Nasdaq Composite Index moved down 18.27 points, or 0.38 percent, to 4,734.48.
The US Commerce Department announced that sales of new single-family houses in August 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 552,000, beating market expectations.
This is 5.7 percent above the revised July rate of 522,000 and is 21.6 percent above the August 2014 estimate of 454,000.
In a separate report, the department said that new orders for manufactured durable goods in August slid $4.8 billion, or two percent, to $236.3 billion.
“With the Fed in no hurry to tighten, dollar appreciation should wane, giving a well-needed boost to durable orders in the fourth quarter,” said Jay Morelock, an economist at FTN Financial, in a note.
Meanwhile, in the week ending September 19, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims increased 3,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level to 267,000, according to the US Labor Department on Thursday.
Traders are also focusing on Yellen’s comments on inflation dynamics and monetary policy later Thursday, one week after the Fed decided to hold its benchmark rate unchanged.
Some analysts believed uncertainty about the timing of interest rate hikes by the US central bank had led to increased volatility.
In corporate news, shares of Caterpillar fell 6.27 percent to $65.80 a share on Thursday, after the company said it would cut up to 5,000 jobs and lowered guidance.