US stocks waver amid economic data

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New York, March 2 (IANS) US stocks fluctuated between gains and losses in the morning session on Thursday as Wall Street meditated on a string of economic reports.

Around noon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 9.95 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 25,039.15, reports Xinhua.

The S&P 500 increased 3.35 points, or 0.12 per cent, to 2,717.18. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 11.89 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 7,284.90.

US personal income increased $64.7 billion, or 0.4 per cent, in January, above market consensus of a 0.3 per cent gain, the Commerce Department said on Thursday.

In January, disposable personal income increased $134.8 billion, or 0.9 per cent, while personal consumption expenditures increased $31.2 billion, or 0.2 per cent.

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In the week ending February 24, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims was 210,000, the lowest since December 6, 1969 when it was 202,000, the US Labor Department announced on Thursday.

Investors also kept a close eye on Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who is scheduled to deliver the semi-annual monetary policy testimony before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Powell said in his first monetary policy testimony that despite the stock market’s recent volatility, Fed governors still plan on hiking rates multiple times throughout 2018.

The new chair signalled the central bank could hike rates more than three times this year should economic and inflation data continue to prove healthy.

–IANS

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