U.S. stocks end mixed amid jobless claims data

NEW YORK, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks finished mixed on Thursday as Wall Street pored through the nation's jobless claims numbers.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 85.73 points, or 0.29 percent, to 29,969.52. The S&P 500 fell 2.29 points, or 0.06 percent, to 3,666.72. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 27.82 points, or 0.23 percent, to 12,377.18.

Six of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors advanced, with energy closing up 1.07 percent, leading the gainers. Utilities slipped 1.1 percent, the worst-performing group.

U.S.-listed Chinese companies traded mostly higher, with eight of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P U.S. Listed China 50 index ending the day on an upbeat note.

Wall Street continued to gauge the economic impact from the surging COVID-19 infections in the United States.

U.S. initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, registered 712,000 in the week ending Nov. 28, following an upwardly revised 787,000 in the prior week, the Department of Labor reported on Thursday, lower than an estimate of 780,000 from economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The reading marked the first drop in three weeks, but still remains well above pre-pandemic records.

The United States has reported more than 14 million COVID-19 cases in total with the death toll from the disease exceeding 275,000 as of Thursday afternoon, showed a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

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