New York: US stock markets ended mixed as investors sought to lock in market gains.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 3.56 points (0.03%) at 10,969.99 in closing trades.
The tech-rich Nasdaq composite was up 7.28 points (0.30%) to 2,436.81 and the broad-market Standard & Poor’s 500 index advanced 1.99 points (0.17%) at 1,189.43.
After weeks of solid, if not dramatic, gains, investors seemed to cash in on profits. On Monday, the Dow had come within striking distance of the symbolic tally of 11,000 points.
Patrick O’Hare of Briefing.com said there was “a general sense that the market is due for a breather and may be subject to some normal profit taking.”
Yesterday the Federal Reserve published broadly positive minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s meeting in March. The FOMC sets key US interest rates.
Although Fed members said the economic outlook was improving, it delayed any decision on its exit strategy from massive economic support measures.
The Fed’s outlook was enough to help stocks recover from early losses.
Stock in Massey Energy Company sank over 11% by late trade on news that a methane explosion at one of its mines in West Virginia had killed at least 25 people.
The accident, the worst US mining accident since 1984, hit Monday afternoon as miners were changing shifts at the mine, located about 50 kilometres south of Charleston, West Virginia.
Shares in US telecommunications firm AT&T were also down, trading at $26.26, down 0.15%, after it announced it would spend one billion dollars to improve services for business customers.