Stocks Ended Lower For Second Straight Day

U.S. stocks finished lower on Thursday, amid concerns that improving economic indicators might force the Fed to start raising rates sooner than anticipated. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 4.76 points, or 0.03%, at 16,264.23. The S&P 500 was off 3.52 points, or 0.19%, at 1,849.04. The Nasdaq Composite shed 22.35 points, or 0.54%, at 4,151.23.

The Federal Reserve, which has kept short-term U.S. interest rates near zero since late 2008, should start raising them early next year with the aim of returning them to normal by the end of 2016, a top Fed official told Reuters on Thursday.

A growing number of Americans quitting the labor force are likely gone for good, offering a cautionary note to the Federal Reserve as it tries to gauge how tight the jobs market is and how quickly to raise interest rates.

President Obama said that 6 million people have enrolled in Obamacare during a call Thursday, according to White House officials. That means the administration reached its adjusted enrollment goal four days early.

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) is set to soon launch a free, ad-supported video-and-music streaming service, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

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