In economic news, the weekly jobless claims report showed 450,000 people filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, dropping from the week before. Economists expected 460,000 new claims. First time claims have been in this range since November and economists say a sign of recovery will come only when claims head below 400,000.
The Producer Price Index – prices that manufacturers are paid for goods before they are sold to consumers – rose 0.4% in August, as a result of higher energy prices. There was a rise of 0.2% in July. Food prices dropped 0.3% in August, the fourth decline in five months.
In real estate, a report showed the number of homeowners who are falling behind on their loans declined 30% in August, meaning that fewer people should be losing their homes.
In corporate news, FedEx, whose movements in business are seen as a global economic indicator, reported its fiscal Q1 earnings at $1.20 a share, up 57 cents from a year earlier but off by analysts expectations by 1 cent. However, the company said it would cut 1,700 jobs. Shares ended lower almost 4% .
Boeing, on the other hand, said that it plans to hire more than a million workers over the next 20 years, including pilots and maintenance crew, to meet demand.
In world markets, European indices ended down for the day. Asian markets also ended lower.
Gold futures hit a new intraday high of $1,279.50 – overriding the high it hit on Tuesday of $1,276.50 an ounce. On Thursday it hit a record closing price as well of $1,273.60 an ounce.
Oil futures for October delivery fell $1.47 to $74.55 a barrel
The yield on the 10-year bond increased to 2.78% from 2.72% late Wednesday.