How major U.S. stock indexes fared Thursday Consumer News

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The index is just 1 percent shy of a record it hit on January 26 as an estimated 24 percent jump in earnings from S&P companies testified to the strength of the world's biggest economy and corporate sector.

"It's hard pressed for this market to really leap ahead".

"Somehow, technology seems a little more insulated" to concerns facing some companies, including trade war tensions, Meckler added.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 4.01 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,690.89.

The tech-heavy index was up 0.33 percent at 7,914.22, a quarter of a percent away from hitting an all-time high.

Chip stocks fell after Morgan Stanley downgraded the USA semiconductor industry.

This earnings season has been stronger than analysts had expected.

Microchip Technology shares fell 10.9 per cent after a disappointing second-quarter revenue forecast.

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The S&P gains came as the latest data pointed to strength in the labor market, underscoring the health of the USA economy despite ongoing trade tensions.

Crude oil prices failed to make a decisive recovery on Thursday even though the US sanctions against Iran went into effect on Thursday and the S&P 500 Energy Index closed the day 0.9% lower.

The S&P 500 index fell 4.12 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,853.58.

USA stocks closed mixed on Thursday as investors digested a batch of key economic data and corporate earnings reports.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, a Labor Department report showed.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.15-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.31-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

"We have been in a tug of war between broadly positive economic conditions and the uncertainty of trade risk", said Bill Northey, senior vice president at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Helena, Montana.

The S&P index recorded 13 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 42 new highs and 27 new lows. That compares with the 6.3 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.

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