US stocks slide after gloomy data

New York, May 1 (IANS) US stocks ended lower on Thursday as market sentiment was dented by a slew of dismal economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 288.14 points, or 1.17 per cent, to 24,345.72. The S&P 500 was down 27.08 points, or 0.92 per cent, to 2,912.43. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 25.16 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 8,889.55, Xinhua reported.

Nine of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors declined, with materials and financials down 2.96 per cent and 2.68 per cent, respectively, leading the laggards.

Despite Thursday's losses, the major averages posted solid monthly gains.

The Dow rallied 11.1 per cent in April, the S&P 500 surged 12.7 percent, and the Nasdaq climbed 15.5 per cent for the month.

US initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, registered 3.839 million in the week ending April 25, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Thursday. That brought the total number of claimants in the past six weeks to about 30 million amid the COVID-19 fallout.

COVID-19 “continues to impact the number of initial claims and insured unemployment,” the bureau noted.

US personal income fell 2 per cent in March and personal consumption expenditures plunged a record 7.5 per cent last month, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis on Thursday.

The gloomy data came one day after the Commerce Department reported that US real gross domestic product in the first quarter contracted at an annual rate of 4.8 per cent, the biggest quarterly decline since the 2008 financial crisis.

The US Federal Reserve on Wednesday decided to maintain its benchmark interest rate at the record-low level of near zero and pledged to continue taking aggressive action to support the economy.



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