The main US stock indexes ended the trading mixed, as the positive from favorable statistics on the US was compensated by the persisting political and foreign trade risks.
The Ministry of Labor said that the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week, indicating sustained labor activity, even if economic growth appears to have slowed at the beginning of the first quarter. Primary calls for state unemployment benefits fell by 4,000 to 226,000, seasonally adjusted for the week to March 10. Primary treatment declined to 210,000 during the week ending February 24, the lowest level since December 1969.
Separate data from the Ministry of Labor indicated that import prices in the US rose more than expected in February, as the largest increase in the value of capital goods since 2008 offset the fall in oil prices, which confirms the expectations of inflation growth this year. Import prices rose 0.4 percent after a revised decrease of 0.8 percent in January. Economists predicted that prices will rise by 0.2 percent. Over the 12 months to February, import prices rose 3.5 percent after rising 3.4 percent in the 12 months to January. In general, the strength of the labor market and the steady increase in price pressure are a weighty argument in favor of raising the Federal Reserve's interest rate next week.
Most components of the DOW index finished trading in positive territory (20 out of 30). The leader of growth was the shares of McDonald's Corporation (MCD, + 2.19%). Outsider were shares of Intel Corporation (INTC, -1.73%).
Most S & P sectors recorded a decline. The largest drop was shown by the commodity sector (-1.0%). The services sector grew most (+ 0.2%).
Dow + 0.47% 24.873.66 +115.54
Nasdaq -0.20% 7,481.74 -15.07
S & P -0.08% 2,747.33 -2.15
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