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Wall Street pulls back to start New Year

2014年01月03日 07:44
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  NEW YORK, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks added losses Thursday to kick off a New Year trading following a blockbuster year of 2013, although economic data out of the country came in positive.

  In midday trading, the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 122.11 points, or 0.74 percent, to 16,454.55. The S&P 500 dropped 15.67 points, or 0.85 percent, to 1,832.69. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 39.06 points, or 0.94 percent, to 4,137.53.

  The market retreat came on the heels of a broad drop in European and Chinese equities markets Thursday, ushering in the New Year.

  If Wall Street held losses at the close, it would be the first time that the U.S. stocks began a year in negative territory since 2008.

  The first week of 2014 should really set the tone for year, and really for the first month, said Mark Newton, chief technical analyst at Greywolf Execution Partners Inc., noting that it's almost 80 percent correlation how the year does historically.

  "So that will be interesting to see, because it's very very overbought," he told Xinhua several days earlier, a little bit pessimistic on the stock market this year following a stellar year in 2013.

  The major stock indices closed out a banner year of 2013 with the best annual gains in more than a decade.

  The Dow was up 26.5 percent, its best yearly gain since 1995, while the broader S&P 500 surged 29.6 percent, its best year since 1997. Both of the two indices finished at record closing highs Tuesday, the last trading day of 2013. The tech-heavy Nasdaq notched a 38.3-percent gain last year, the biggest since 2009.

  On the economic data, the number of Americans who initially applied for jobless benefits in the week ending Dec. 28 dropped 2, 000 to 339,000 from the previous week's upwardly revised figure of 341,000, said the Labor Department Thursday.

  Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in December for the seventh consecutive month, registering 57, the second highest reading for 2013, according to the Institute for Supply Management, a global supply management association.

  Separately, business conditions in the U.S. manufacturing sector continued to improve in December, financial data firm Markit reported Thursday. U.S. construction spending in November also rose 1.0 percent from the preceding month, the Department of Commerce announced Thursday.

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