NEW YORK, July 11 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks ended mixed on Thursday, as investors digested a batch of key data. The market also continued to be encouraged by greater hopes for future rate cuts following the U.S. Federal Reserve chairman's monetary policy testimony.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 227.88 points, or 0.85 percent, to 27,088.08. The S&P 500 rose 6.84 points, or 0.23 percent, to 2,999.91. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 6.49 points, or 0.08 percent, to 8,196.04.
On the economic front, U.S. jobless claims fell last week to the lowest level over the last three months, signaling a strong labor market.
In the week ending July 6, the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits registered at 209,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week's revised level, said the Labor Department on Thursday.
U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI), a key metric of price levels of consumer goods and services, increased 0.1 percent in June, the same increase as in May, said the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Thursday.
Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.6 percent before seasonal adjustment. Increases in the indexes for shelter, apparel, and used cars and trucks more than offset declines in energy indexes for the month.
During his second day of testimony on Thursday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell reiterated that the central bank will always do "what's right for the U.S. economy" and called for the Congress to raise debt limit in a timely manner.
His testimony continued to underpin the market, as investors have priced in a strengthening case for cutting interest rates at the Fed's policy meeting on July 30-31.
Shares of Delta Air Lines rose nearly 1.2 percent, after the Atlanta-based airline posted second-quarter earnings that beat analysts' estimates. The company also built up the outlook for its yearly profit, as driven by rising travel demand.
Nine of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors traded higher around market close, with the industrials sector up over 0.7 percent, leading the gainers. Enditem