U.S. stocks end mixed amid tax reform announcement, Fed Chair nomination

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-03 06:14:16|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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NEW YORK, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks closed mixed on Thursday, as Wall Street digested the newly-released announcement about tax reform and the appointment of next U.S. Federal Reserve Chair.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 81.25 points, or 0.35 percent, to 23,516.26. The S&P 500 inched up 0.49 points, or 0.02 percent, to 2,579.85. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 1.59 points, or 0.02 percent, to 6,714.94.

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday unveiled the long-awaited bill to overhaul the U.S. tax code in decades by significantly cutting individual and corporate income taxes.

It would reduce the number of personal income tax brackets from seven to four, while keeping the top individual income tax rate at 39.6 percent. It would also cut the corporate income tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday announced his nomination of Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell to succeed Fed Chair Janet Yellen whose term expires in February.

Powell's nomination to head the U.S. central bank is widely regarded as a "safe choice" for the Trump administration, as he holds similar views with Yellen in terms of monetary policy approach as well as openness to deregulation which the Trump administration is advocating.

The Fed on Wednesday left its benchmark interest rates unchanged, but did leave the door open for a December rate hike. Expectations for a December rate hike are more than 98 percent, according to the CME Group's FedWatch tool.

On the economic front, in the week ending October 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 229,000, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week's revised level, according to the U.S. Labor Department Thursday.

In corporate news, tech giant Facebook posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings after Wednesday' s closing bell.

Apple and Starbucks, among others, are set to report their financial results later Thursday.

The latest data from Thomson Reuters showed that the S&P 500 companies' blended earnings in the third quarter of 2017 are expected to rise 7.7 percent year on year, while the revenues are forecast to increase 5.2 percent.