US stocks close higher amid economic data

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New York, Sep 1 (IANS) US stocks closed higher as investors geared up for a batch of economic data ahead of a key report on employment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday gained 59.92 points, or 0.27 per cent, to 21,952.35. The S&P 500 added 14.02 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 2,471.61. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 60.35 points, or 0.95 per cent, to 6,428.66. Xinhua news agency reported.

In the week ending August 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 236,000, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised level, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

The four-week moving average was 236,750, a decrease of 1,250 from the previous week’s revised average, according to the department.

Personal income increased $65.6 billion, or 0.4 per cent in July, higher than market expectation, according to estimates released by the Commerce Department.

The personal consumption expenditures price index excluding food and energy, the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation, edged up 0.1 per cent in July, said the Commerce Department.

The year-on-year rate declined to 1.4 per cent in July from 1.5 percent in June, well under the US central bank’s 2 per cent target.

The market has been closely watching the Federal Reserve’s next move.

Expectations for tighter monetary policy in the United States have been dampened recently by soft inflation data.

Market expectations for a rate hike in December are just 35.7 per cent, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

Meanwhile, investors continued to watch the performance of the energy sector.

US crude prices continued to decline and gasoline futures surged, as Hurricane Harvey shut down more than 20 percent of US refinery capacity, ripping through the heart of the oil industry.

–IANS

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