U.S. stock indexes traded lower Thursday morning ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's second, and final, day of congressional testimony on the outlook for the economy and monetary policy. His meeting with a Senate committee was set to kick off at 9:30 a.m. ET. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.3% at 34,841, while the S&P 500 index was down 0.3% at 4,359, while the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.4% at around 14,576. Powell told lawmakers on Wednesday that the central bank wouldn't be in a hurry to start paring monthly asset purchases and that the economy "is still a ways off." Meanwhile, in economic data, first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell to 360,000 last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday, down from 386,000 the previous week. The Philadelphia Fed's factory index fell to 21.9 in June from 30.7 in prior month. Separately, the New York Fed's Empire State Index jumped 25.6 points to a record-high reading of 43 in July. Economists had expected a reading of 17.3, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal. Any reading above zero for either index indicates improving conditions. In corporate news, shares of Netflix Inc. (NFLX) was in focus after the entertainment company announced its first major videogame hire, potentially signaling a move beyond its streaming-video roots. Shares of GameStop Corp. (GME), meanwhile, were under pressure because of the prospect of competition from Netflix.
-Mark Decambre; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 15, 2021 09:35 ET (13:35 GMT)
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