U.S. stocks rise despite lackluster economic data

2021-07-30 04:41

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NEW YORK, July 29 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks finished higher on Thursday as investors parsed the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) data and jobless claims numbers.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 153.60 points, or 0.44 percent, to 35,084.53. The S&P 500 added 18.51 points, or 0.42 percent, to 4,419.15. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 15.68 points, or 0.11 percent, to 14,778.26.

Nine of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors ended in green, with materials and financials up 1.08 percent and 1.07 percent, respectively, leading the gainers. Communication services and real estate, however, struggled.

U.S.-listed Chinese companies traded mostly higher with seven of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P U.S. Listed China 50 index ending the day on an upbeat note.

The above moves came even after a slower-than-expected GDP growth in the U.S. economy in the April-June period this year.

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 6.5 percent in the second quarter of 2021, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Thursday. The reading was far below the 8.4-percent market estimate.

The increase in real GDP in the second quarter reflected increases in personal consumption expenditures, non-residential fixed investment, exports, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by decreases in private inventory investment, residential fixed investment, and federal government spending, the report showed.

"Consumers kept increasing their spending in Q2 but businesses can't keep up. Firms are drawing down inventories as they struggle to increase capacity," Will Compernolle and Sophia Kearney-Lederman, senior economists at FHN Financial, said in a note on Thursday.

"Rapid price increases are giving a reality check to fast growth of nominal GDP," they added.

Meanwhile, a separate report by the Department of Labor said U.S. initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, decreased 24,000 to 400,000 in the week ending July 24. The level was above a Dow Jones estimate of 385,000.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged at the record-low level of near zero and reaffirmed its commitment to support the economy amid growing concerns over surging inflation and the rapid spread of the Delta variant.
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