US stocks tick down after record run

New York, Feb 17 (IANS) US stocks traded lower around midday on Thursday as investors became cautious after recent sharp gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 23.70 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 20,588.16, Xinhua news agency reported.

The S&P 500 lost 6.87 points, or 0.29 per cent, to 2,342.38. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 16.65 points, or 0.29 per cent, to 5,802.79.

On Wednesday, all three major indices ended at record highs. The tech-heavy Nasdaq extended its record run to a seventh straight session, while both the blue-chip Dow and the broader S&P 500 closed at records for five consecutive days.

US stocks have posted solid gains since Donald Trump won the presidential election, as investors bet that he would pursue massive corporate tax cuts, deregulation and infrastructure spending.

On the economic front, in the week ending February 11, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 239,000, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 234,000, the US Labor Department reported on Thursday.

The four-week moving average was 245,250, an increase of 500 from the previous week’s revised average.

Meanwhile, US privately-owned housing starts in January came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,246,000, beating market consensus, the Commerce Department announced on Thursday.