Stocks trade mixed on Thursday in the wake of central-bank meetings.
The U.S. stock market advanced modestly on Thursday, as investors dissected policy decisions from central banks around the world.
The large-cap S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) pared all of its gains to settle flat at 3,006.79. Gains were largely concentrated in health care and utilities. Declines were located primarily in industrials, financials and energy.
Dow industrials (NYSEARCA:DIA) finished lower, sliding 52.29 points, or 0.2%, to 27,094.79.
Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (NYSEARCA:QQQ) advanced 0.1% to settle at 8,182.88.
A measure of 30-day volatility known as the CBOE VIX (NYSEARCA:VXX) hovered in a narrow range on Thursday, reflecting underlying calm on Wall Street. The so-called “fear index” reached a session low of 13.31 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average. It would eventually settle at 14.05, having declined 0.7%.
In economic data, U.S. existing home sales rose unexpectedly in August, raising hopes that the domestic real estate market was regaining momentum. Sales of previously-owned homes rose 1.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday. Analysts were calling for a decline of 0.4%.
Separately, the Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims edged up by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 208,000 in the week ended September 14. Analysts had forecast an increase to 213,000.
The Final Word: Central banking has been front and center the past 24 hours. The Federal Reserve cut interest rates, the Bank of Japan hinted at more stimulus in the near term and the Bank of England warned about Brexit-related risks.