Stocks Pared Gains to End Slightly Lower

U.S. stocks pared earlier gains to end slightly lower on Thursday, after the Dow and Nasdaq Composite reached fresh record intraday highs earlier in the session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 68.95 points, or 0.22%, to 30,991.52, after touching an intraday record at 31,223.78. The S&P 500 lost 14.30 points, or 0.38%, to 3,795.54. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 16.31 points, or 0.12%, to 13,112.64, and saw a new intraday high at 13,220.16.

Oil futures booked gains on Thursday, with U.S. benchmark prices finishing at their highest since February of last year, buoyed by the continuing COVID-19 vaccine rollout and expectations that the Biden administration’s stimulus package will help improve demand for crude. West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery rose 66 cents, or nearly 1.3%, to settle at $53.57 a barrel. March Brent crude tacked on 36 cents, or 0.6%, to $56.42 a barrel.

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