Sat, 31 Oct 2020

Nasdaq drops 140 points, Dow Jones adds 37

Xinhua/Big News Network
17 Sep 2020, 09:03 GMT+10

NEW YORK, New York Sept. 16 (Xinhua/Big News Network) -- U.S. stocks closed mixed on Wednesday as tech shares struggled, weighing on the market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 36.78 points, or 0.13%, to 28,032.38.

The Standard and Poor's 500 fell 15.71 points, or 0.46%, to 3,385.49.

The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 139.85 points, or 1.25%, to 11,050.47.

Six of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors fell, with technology and communication services closing down 1.56% and 1.2%, respectively, leading the laggards. Energy rallied 4.04%, the best-performing group.

U.S.-listed Chinese companies traded mostly lower, with six of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P U.S. Listed China 50 index ending the day on a downbeat note.

The moves came after the U.S. Federal Reserve held its benchmark interest rate steady at the record-low level of near zero and promised to maintain this target range until labor market conditions have improved to reach maximum employment and inflation has picked up to its desirable level.

"Economic activity and employment have picked up in recent months but remain well below their levels at the beginning of the year," the Fed said in a statement after concluding a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday.

"Weaker demand and significantly lower oil prices are holding down consumer price inflation," the Fed said, adding "the ongoing public health crisis will continue to weigh on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term, and poses considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term."

The Fed slashed interest rates to near zero earlier this year in an effort to support the economy amid the pandemic shock.

On the data front, U.S. retail sales registered $537.5 billion in August, an increase of 0.6% from the previous month, the Department of Commerce reported on Wednesday. The reading fell short of market consensus.

The U.S. dollar meantime was decidedly mixed. The euro fell to 1.1813. The British pound however jumped sharply to 1.2969. The Japanese yen too was in demand, rising strongly to 104.97. The Swiss franc conversely weakened to .9098.

The Canadian dollar was unchanged at 1.3175. The Australian dollar fell to 0.7302. The New Zealand dollar strengthened to 0.6735.

Overseas equity markets were quiet. In London the FTSE 100 slid 0.44%. The German Dax rose by 0.29%. The Paris-based Cac 40 was up 0.13%.

On Asian markets, The Australian market did best of all with the All Ordinaries index gaining 67.60 points or 1.11% to 6,146.90.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.4% to 11,814.71.

Japanese stocks rose with the Nikkei 225 adding 20.64 points or 0.09% to 23,475.53.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng dipped 7.13 points or 0.03% to 24,725.63.

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