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US Stocks closed lower, Dow extends losses to fourth day

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The US share market finished session deeply in negative territory on Thursday, 04 April 2024, as spike in crude oil prices and fears the Federal Reserve could hold off on interest rate cuts triggered selloff across the board, with shares in information technology, communication services, and financials leading declines.
At closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index retreated 530.16 points, or 1.35%, to 38,596.98, registering fourth straight session of losses. The S&P500 index tumbled 64.28 points, or 1.23%, to 5,147.21. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index decreased by 228.38 points, or 1.4%, to 16,049.08.
All 11 major S&P 500 sectors declined, with information technology sector suffered most losses, falling 1.72%, followed by healthcare (down 1.4%), communication services (down 1.39%), financials (down 1.17%), and consumer discretionary (down 1.16%) sectors.
The Wall Street suffered steep selloff pressure late afternoon amid continued surge in crude oil price which raised concerns that higher energy prices will keep inflation elevated and convince the Federal Reserve to hold off on lowering interest rates.
On Thursday, the West Texas Intermediate contract for May delivery gained $1.16, or 1.36%, to settle at $86.59 a barrel. The Brent contract for June delivery advanced $1.30, or 1.45%, to $90.65 a barrel. It was the highest settle for both since Oct. 20.
Federal Reserve officials took a cautious approach in comments on the outlook for interest rate cuts. Among the comments by Fed officials, Minneapolis Fed Bank President Neel Kashkari commented Thursday that at the U.S. central bank's meeting last month he penciled in two rate cuts this year but that if inflation continues to stall, none may be required this year. Also, Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin said on Thursday that the U.S. central bank has "time for the clouds to clear" on inflation before starting to cut rates. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday maintained that while there is still room for interest rate cuts this year, policymakers will need more proof that inflation is moving toward the central bank's 2% guideline before rates can come down.
ECONOMIC NEWS: The Labor Department released initial jobless claims report on Thursday showing it climbed to 221,000, an increase of 9,000 from the previous week's revised level of 212,000. Jobless claims reached their highest level since hitting 225,000 in the week ended January 27th.
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First Published: Apr 05 2024 | 8:30 AM IST

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