New York: Wall Street trade on Wednesday closed with small gains, paring early losses as investors weighed ongoing concerns about European sovereign debt and an encouraging drop in US jobless claims.
Trade was boosted in the final hours of trade as the US dollar’s recent rise slowed, boosting trade, especially for shares of large exporting multinational companies.
“The market remains sensitive to the direction of the dollar. The greenback gave back some of its previous gains against foreign currencies... suggesting a slightly improved appetite for risk,” said Scott Marcouiller of Wells Fargo.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 9.46 points (0.08%) to 11,356.21 in closing trades, weighed down by a 3.2% drop in Boeing’s shares after the aerospace giant halted test flight of its new 787 Dreamliner.
The S&P 500 index, a broader measure of the market, rose 5.33 points (0.44%) to 1,218.73, while the tech-rich Nasdaq composite index gained 15.80 points (0.62%) at 2,578.78.
“A key meeting of world leaders may be injecting a note of caution today,” said Marcouiller.
Leaders of the G20 biggest advanced and emerging-market economies will begin two-day talks in Seoul on Thursday to address global economic imbalances linked to trade and currency tensions.
Before the opening bell, the Labor Department reported new claims for US unemployment aid dropped sharply last week to close to the lowest level of the year.
Initial jobless claims stood at 435,000 in the week ending November 6, a decrease of 24,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 459,000.
That was well below the 450,000 level expected by most economists and the lowest level since early July, when claims fell to 427,000.
The Commerce Department reported the US trade deficit eased off record levels in September to 44 billion dollars, as the value of imports edged down and exports nudged up.