Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 17.90 points or 0.15% to 12,018.63, 23-03-2011

US Wall Streets equities finished lower in fairly uneventful trading after a three-day run-up in stocks fueled by a big bounce in global risk appetite. While the markets continued to show signs of increased comfort with Japanese efforts to contain the nuclear crisis, global supply chain and production resumption uncertainty remained somewhat of an overhang. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 17.90 points or 0.15% to 12,018.63.

The U.S. economy continued to strengthen at a snail’s pace in February thanks to momentum in the industrial sector, according to data published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The headline National Activity Index fell to -0.04 in February (-0.01 in Jan), with last month characterized by poor weather that disrupted supply chains and manufacturing output. The more-representative three-month moving average rose to 0.11 in Feb (0.05 in January), indicating modest above-trend growth and the fifth consecutive month of improvement.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said “urgent” steps are needed to narrow the nation’s trade imbalance with the U.S. The world’s second-biggest economy posted a trade surplus of US$183bn last year, dropping for the second straight year, according to government data. Almost all of China’s trade surplus comes from bilateral trade with the U.S., Wen said.

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