NEW YORK, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks traded lower on Thursday, as investors mainly focused on newly-released data and speech from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.
At midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 153.60 points, or 0.77 percent, to 19,800.68. The S&P 500 was down 16.01 points, or 0.70 percent, to 2,259.31. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 53.69 points, or 0.96 percent, to 5,509.96.
On the economic front, in the week ending Jan. 7, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 247,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week' s revised level, said the U.S. Labor Department Thursday.
Meanwhile, investors continue to digest Trump's remarks.
Health-care and biotechnology stocks fell Thursday after Trump took shots at pharmaceutical industry. Trump said the drug industry was "getting away with murder" and called for "new bidding procedures," according to the Wall Street Journal.
Trump held his first news conference Wednesday since the election, and analysts expected to get a clearer picture on trade, tax plans and fiscal stimulus from the new administration. However, the conference concluded without providing details on those policies.
Markets also awaited the start of the fourth quarter earnings season later this week, when several financial giants report their numbers.
Traders closely followed curves of the financial sectors, which has posted a sharp rally since the U.S. Presidential Election Day.
The latest data from Thomson Reuters showed that the S&P 500 companies' blended earnings in the fourth quarter of 2016 are expected to rise 5.7 percent year on year, while the revenues are forecast to increase 4.4 percent. Enditem