US stocks declined Thursday despite a strong
January ahead of government unemployment data that analysts expect to
show little change in the jobless rate.
The economy unexpectedly contracted by an annualized 0.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012 following 3.1 per cent growth in the third quarter, Commerce Department data showed Wednesday, prompting renewed concerns about the health of the economy. Data due Friday is expected to show the unemployment rate holding at 7.8 per cent, economists surveyed by Bloomberg news said.
The blue-chip Dow Jones industrials slid 49.84 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 13,860.58. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 3.85 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 1,498.11. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 0.18 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 3,142.13.
For the month, the Dow soared the most since 1994, rising 5.8 per cent, while the S&P jumped 5 per cent and the Nasdaq increased 4 per cent.
The US currency was down against the euro at 73.6 euro cents from 73.71 euro cents on Wednesday. The dollar edged up against the Japanese currency to 91.74 yen from 91.10 yen.
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