US stocks mixed after Treasury Secretary remarks

New York, Feb 24 (IANS) US stocks traded in a narrow range on Thursday, as investors assessed comments of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

At midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 21.64 points, or 0.10 per cent, to 20,797.24. The S&P 500 lost 3.01 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 2,359.81. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 37.95 points, or 0.65 per cent, to 5,822.67.

Mnuchin said in an interview with CNBC earlier on Thursday that he wanted to see a “very significant” tax reform passed before Congress’ August recess, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We want to get this done by the August recess. We’ve been working closely with the leadership in the House and the Senate and we’re looking at a combined plan,” he said.

US equities have posted sharp gains since Trump won the presidential election last November, as investors bet that he would pursue massive corporate tax cuts, deregulation and infrastructure spending.

Meanwhile, Wall Street still digested the minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s latest meeting.

The Federal Reserve officials expressed their confidence in the economy, saying the next interest rate hike would be “fairly soon”, as shown in the minutes of the agency’s latest monetary policy meeting on Wednesday.

“Many participants expressed the view that it might be appropriate to raise the federal funds rate again fairly soon if incoming information on the labor market and inflation was in line with or stronger than their current expectations,” officials said.