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Dow ends below 10,000 for first time since July 6

08-27-2010 08:33 BJT

NEW YORK, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks pared morning gains and ended in negative territory on Thursday, with the Dow finishing below 10,000, as enthusiasm over better-than-expected jobs data was offset by mounting concerns about the economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average shed 74.25 points, or 0.74 percent, to 9,985.81. It was the first time for the blue-chip index to end below the key 10,000-point psychological level since July 6.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 8.11 points, or 0.77 percent, to 1,047.22 and the Nasdaq tumbled 22.85 points, or 1.07 percent, to 2,118.69.

Wall Street opened with modest gains on Thursday after new claims for unemployment benefits dropped more than expected, easing some concerns for a deteriorating jobs market.

The Labor Department said before the opening bell that the number of people filing for jobless benefits fell to 473,000 last week, after claims climbed above 500,000 for the first time since November a week earlier.

The Market was lifted after the data as economists were expecting a more modest drop to 490,000, however the gains were capped as the level of claims was still higher for a health economy.

What's more, the four-week average of new claims, which is considered a better measure of underlying labor market trends, rose 3,250 to 486,750, the highest since November.

Stubbornly high unemployment is regarded as the biggest obstacle for a sustainable economic recovery. The U.S economy rebounded strongly last year, fueled by government stimulus and businesses rebuilding inventories from record low levels, however that momentum seems to fade since spring.

Investors were cautiously awaiting the revision of second- quarter gross domestic product growth, which is due out on Friday. Most economists were expecting the number to fall below 1.5 percent from the previous 2.4 percent, another strong evidence to show the economy growth was losing steam.

Also drawing attention, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is going to give his assessment on the economic recovery at an annual Fed symposium on Friday. Bernanke's speech is to be closely watched by the market as it is his first public comments since the Fed announced it would invest proceeds from its holdings of mortgage bonds to buy more long-term Treasury securities to prop up the recovery.

On foreign exchange market, the euro rebounded from 1.2657 dollars to 1.2703 dollars in late New York trading.

Light, sweet crude for October delivery rose 84 cents to settle at 73.36 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In London, Brent crude jumped 1.54 dollars to settle at 75.02 dollars a barrel on the ICE futures exchange.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: Xinhua

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