Dow ends down over 250 points as investors digest mixed signals on economy


Major U.S. stock indexes closed lower Thursday, with the S&P 500 and Dow each posting a third day in a row of declines, as investors focused on signs of a weakening economy and the risks of Congress failing to address the U.S. debt limit. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.76% fell about 252 points, or 0.8%, ending near 33,044, while the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.76% shed 0.8%. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.96% fell 1%, its second day in a row of losses. Investors weighed a further decline in the construction of new homes in December and jobs data that suggested many employers remain reluctant to lay off staff outside of the technology sector. The Federal Reserve is widely expected to keep raising rates when its next policy meeting concludes in early February, albeit at a slower pace. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday also said “extraordinary measures” were unfurled on Thursday to keep the U.S. government paying its bills after hitting its ceiling for borrowering.

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