S&P 500 and Nasdaq end lower for first time in 6 sessions ahead of Powell’s Jackson Hole speech

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U.S. stocks halted a streak of wins for the three main benchmarks on Thursday as investors focused on comments expected from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday that could deliver the clearest guideposts for the central bank’s plans for tapering stimulus measures. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
-0.54%
closed 0.5% lower at 35,213, finishing lower for the first time in five sessions. The S&P 500 index
SPX,
-0.58%
closed down 0.6% at 4,470, while the Nasdaq Composite Index
COMP,
-0.64%
finished 0.6% lower at 14,946, on a preliminary basis. That marked the first lower close for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq in six sessions, which had both also registered all-time closing highs on Wednesday. In economic data, the Labor Department said first-time jobless claims rose 4,000 last week to 353,000, slightly above forecasts for a reading of 350,000 after dipping to a pandemic low in the previous week. A second estimate of U.S. gross domestic product, the official scorecard of U.S. economic expansion, showed annualized growth of 6.6%, compared with an initial reading of 6.5%. Economists had looked for a revised rate of 6.7%. The slump in equities also happened as the Pentagon confirmed that at least 12 U.S. service members, and scores of others, were killed following two explosions near Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.

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