NEW YORK, May 22 (Xinhua) – Major Wall Street averages posted mixed results during the week as investors digested minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve policy meeting and a wealth of economic data.
For the week ending Friday, the Dow fell 0.5 percent, and the S&P 500 fell 0.4 percent, while the tech-intensive Nasdaq Composite gained 0.3 percent.
The Nasdaq hit a four-week losing streak, while the S&P 500 and Dow posted a second consecutive week of losses.
China’s S&P 50 index, which is designed to track the performance of the 50 largest Chinese companies listed on U.S. stock markets by total market capitalization, saw a weekly increase of 2.9 percent .
Equity markets shook slightly on Wednesday, following the release of minutes of the Fed meeting in late April.
Some U.S. Federal Reserve officials said they would be open to starting discussions on reducing the central bank’s asset purchase program at upcoming meetings, according to the minutes of the recent Fed policy meeting released Wednesday .
“Several participants suggested that if the economy continued to move rapidly toward the Committee’s goals, it may be appropriate at some point in the next few meetings to begin discussing a plan to adjust the pace of asset purchases,” the Fed said. in the minutes. of the April 27-28 meeting, in reference to the Fed decision-making committee.
The Fed has pledged to keep its benchmark interest rates unchanged at a record near zero level, while continuing its asset purchase program at least at the current rate of US $ 120 billion a month. until economic recovery makes “substantial progress.” “
“Most of the Fed’s language seemed to indicate that inflation was being monitored, but that the risk was balanced and that the inflation outlook was transitory. However, some market watchers saw signs that the ‘reduce- if “(a form of tension) would be an issue at upcoming meetings,” Zacks Investment Management analysts said in a note on Saturday.
“Conversations in a tonic way tend to cause volatility in equity markets, but recent history also shows that it can be short-lived,” they added.
Meanwhile, a recently released batch of economic data led investors to assess the form of economic recovery.
A quick reading of the U.S. composite exit index rose to 68.1 in May from 63.5 in April, London-based information provider IHS Markit reported on Friday.
The USHI Markit Flash business services business index rose 70.1 in May, from 64.7 in April, while the US Flash manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) it stood at 61.5 compared to 60.5 in April.
U.S. initial claims for employment, a rough way to measure layoffs, fell from 34,000 to 444,000 the week ended May 15, a new period of the pandemic era, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected 452,000 new claims.
The Empire State Manufacturing Index, a key metric for assessing business growth in New York State, fell to 24.3 in May from 26.3 in April. said the New York Federal Reserve on Monday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a reading of 24.8. The Empire State Report is widely seen as a leading indicator of national trends, which draws market attention.