Dow industrials pared losses to settle flat on Thursday, as tumbling energy and financial shares ended Wall Street’s record-setting rally.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 20,619.77, virtually unchanged from the prior session’s record close. The benchmark gauge was down as much as 55 points earlier in the day.
The Dow opened higher and extended gains through the morning before the markets put on the brakes. Futures largely traded flat-to-lower throughout the afternoon.
Fifteen of 30 Dow components finished lower, with Chevron Corp (NYSE: CVX) leading the decline. The energy blue-chip closed down 1.7%. Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE: XOM), another energy giant fell 1%.
Mining and equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) fell 0.8%. New York-based investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) settled 0.4% lower.
On the opposite side of the ledger, technology company Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) rose 2.4% to lead all blue-chips higher. Beverage maker Coca-Cola Co (NYSE: KO) advanced 1.9%. Chipmaker Intel Corp (NASDAQ: INTC) and manufacturer 3M Co (NYSE: MMM) added 1% each.
Wall Street’s other major indexes pulled back from record highs on Thursday. The large-cap S&P 500 Index declined 2.03 points, or 0.1%, to close at 2,347.22. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index fell 4.54 points, or 0.1%, to 5,814.90.
Economic data on Thursday largely reaffirmed the strength of the U.S. economy. Initial jobless claims rose slightly last week, but at 239,000, remained close to 43-year lows. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia manufacturing index surged to nearly six-year highs in February, underscoring the broad recovery in the industrial sector.
The Commerce Department also reported that housing starts defined less than expected last month, while a barometer of future construction plans rose much faster than expected.
On Wednesday, government economists reported that consumer inflation rose at an annualized 2.5% in January, its highest in nearly four years.
Dow Jones Industrial Average