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U.S. stocks end mixed amid Fed minutes, economic data

Xinhua, November 24, 2016 Adjust font size:

U.S. stocks closed mixed Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 refreshing their closing records, as investors digested the Federal Reserve's minutes from its November meeting a slew of amid economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 59.31 points, or 0.31 percent, to 19,083.18. The S&P 500 inched up 1.78 points, or 0.08 percent, to 2,204.72. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 5.67 points, or 0.11 percent, to 5,380.68.

According to the minutes released in the afternoon, U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) expanded at a faster pace in the third quarter than in the first half of the year and that labor market conditions continued to strengthen in recent months.

"(FOMC) Members generally agreed that the case for an increase in the policy rate had continued to strengthen. However, members emphasized that the actual path of the federal funds rate would depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data," said the minutes.

On the economic front, U.S. new orders for manufactured durable goods in October increased 11.0 billion U.S. dollars or 4.8 percent to 239.4 billion dollars, well above market consensus, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

In a separate report, the department announced that sales of new single-family houses in October 2016 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 563,000, missing market estimates of 590,000.

"The larger than expected decline in October, however, came before the recent increases in mortgage rates, which is likely to put a damper on any would be upward momentum in the housing market heading into 2017," said Sophia Kearney-Lederman, an economic analyst at FTN Financial.

In the week ending Nov. 19, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 251,000, an increase of 18,000 from the previous week's revised level, the U.S. Labor Department reported Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) came in at 53.9 in November, up from 53.4 in October, signaling a further solid improvement in overall business conditions across the manufacturing sector. U.S. stock markets will be closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. Enditem