Stocks Ended Mixed, S&P and Nasdaq Dipped
U.S. stocks ended mixed on Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record, while the S&P and Nasdaq faltered on weak energy shares. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 7.91 points, or 0.04%, to 20,619.77. The S&P 500 lost 2.03 points, or 0.09%, to 2,347.22. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.54 points, or 0.08%, to 5,814.90.
Oil futures in New York on Thursday ended slightly higher on speculation that OPEC will extend its output cut agreement. March West Texas Intermediate crude edged up by 25 cents, or 0.5%, to settle at $53.36 a barrel after trading as low as $52.68. Brent crude finished with a loss after spending time in positive territory. The April contract lost 32 cents, or 0.6%, at $55.65 a barrel.
U.S. household debt hit near an all-time high in the fourth quarter, reaching $12.58 trillion, as credit was more readily available for mortgage, auto and student loans, a Federal Reserve Bank of New York survey showed on Thursday.
Freddie Mac will send $4.5 billion to the U.S. Treasury in March as the mortgage-finance giant continues to prepare for the possibility of having zero capital by next year. The company earned $4.8 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $2.2 billion in the same period a year earlier.