US stocks have closed mixed after China lowered interest rates to spur its slowing economy, while Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke dented stimulus hopes for the United States.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday gained 46.17 points, or 0.37 per cent, to finish at 12,460.96, extending Wednesday's huge 2.4 per cent rally that had put the blue-chip index back in positive territory for the year.
The broad-market S&P 500 was flat, down 0.14 point (0.01 per cent) to 1,314.99, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite fell 13.70 (0.48 per cent) to 2,831.02, weighed down by Cisco, Microsoft and Oracle.
US stocks shredded earlier gains of roughly one per cent after Fed Chairman Bernanke did not signal the need for new stimulus in testimony to Congress.
While Bernanke told MPs that the European financial crisis and mandated spending cuts pose big risks for the economy, "None of the chairman's comments suggested that the Fed has a new outlook or plans for policy adjustment," Briefing.com analysts said.
Wall Street bulls found early support after China lowered its key interest rates by a quarter percentage point to spur growth, the first cut since 2008.
The first drop in initial US jobless claims after four consecutive weeks of increases added a bit of bounce to sentiment.
United Technologies led the Dow higher, up 2.4 per cent. Boeing added 1.4 per cent, Caterpillar gained 1.3 per cent and Home Depot, the do-it-yourself retail giant, rose 1.3 per cent.
Financials suffered. Goldman Sachs dropped 1.0 per cent, Bank of America tumbled 2.9 per cent and JPMorgan Chase lost 0.8 per cent.
On the Nasdaq, Oracle was down 0.4 per cent after unveiling its entry into the public internet cloud, Oracle Cloud.
Microsoft slipped 0.4 per cent and Cisco shed 0.6 per cent.
Electronics retailer Best Buy fell almost one per cent after its founder and chairman Richard Schulze resigned and said he was looking to sell his 20.1 per cent stake.
Bond prices were mixed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond was unchanged at 1.65 per cent from Wednesday, while the 30-year climbed to 2.76 per cent from 2.72 per cent.
Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.
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