U.S. stocks end mixed as energy sector lags

NEW YORK, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks finished mixed on Thursday as energy sector pulled back noticeably, weighing on the market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased 12.37 points, or 0.04 percent, to 31,176.01. The S&P 500 increased 1.22 points, or 0.03 percent, to 3,853.07. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 73.67 points, or 0.55 percent, to 13,530.91.

Eight of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors ended in red, with energy down 3.44 percent, leading the laggards. Technology advanced 1.32 percent, the best-performing group.

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

On the data front, U.S. initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, came in at 900,000 in the week ending Jan. 16, following a downwardly revised 926,000 in the prior week, the Department of Labor reported on Thursday. The reading was lower than an estimate of 925,000, according to economists surveyed by Dow Jones.

On Wednesday, Wall Street's major averages closed at fresh record highs amid stimulus hopes.

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