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A bounce in oil prices and some positive economic data failed to support US stocks on Thursday.

After notching yet another record close on Wednesday, the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.3 per cent to 6,110.7. The S&P 50o, which also set a new closing high yesterday, declined 0.25 per cent to 2,393.6 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.17 per cent to 20,908.7.

The drops come despite a rally in oil prices. Brent crude, the international benchmark and its US counterpart, West Texas Intermediate, both tacked on 1.3 per cent to trade at $50.87 and $47.95 a barrel respectively.

News that US jobless claims are at a 28 year low also did little to excite investors, who, emboldened by the Trump administration’s promises of tax reforms and fiscal stimulus, have already pushed the S&P 500 up by more than 15 per cent since early November.

Among the early movers, Macy’s is down almost 10 per cent after delivering yet another quarter of steeper than expected drop in like-for-like sales. The company, along with smaller rival Kohl’s kicked off the earnings reporting season for the retail sector. Investors will be scanning for clues on the health of US consumers following the sharp drop in consumer spending during the first quarter.

Yield on the 10-year Treasury note up is 0.01 percentage point at 2.417 per cent and gold was trading 0.2 per cent higher at $1,221.48 per troy ounce.

The dollar is up moderately, tacking on 0.7 per cent.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

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