The US markets closed mostly up on Thursday, with the S&P 500 clinging to a slight gain to maintain its longest winning run since March, after US data came better than expected. The Commerce Department reported that the US trade deficit narrowed by 10.7% in June, with the number expected to boost second-quarter gross domestic product. The US trade deficit narrowed sharply in June to its lowest level since December 2010. The nation's trade deficit fell to $42.9 billion from $48.0 billion in May. The government only included a small narrowing of the trade gap in this estimate; the next estimate of GDP is due on August 29. Besides, the Labor Department reported that initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 6,000 at 361,000 last week. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell unexpectedly last week, government statistics showed.
In Europe, the European Central Bank in its monthly bulletin report forecasted the euro zone economy to shrink 0.3% this year compared to the prior estimate of a 0.2% decline. Investors are looking for some kind of quantitative easing from the central bank in Europe. In other economic news, youth unemployment in Greece rose in May, the UK trade gap widened and Italian surplus rose in June. Unemployment in Greece rose to a new record high in May. The unemployment rate increased to 23.1% in May, reaching the highest level since records started. In May 2011, the jobless rate was 16.8%.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 10.45 points, or 0.08 percent, to 13,165.20. The S&P 500 Index gained 0.58 points, or 0.04 percent, to 1,402.80, while the Nasdaq Composite was up by 7.39 points, or 0.25 percent, to 3,018.64.
The Indian ADRs closed mixed on Thursday, Tata Motors was down 0.79%, Dr. Reddy's Lab was down 0.22% and ICICI Bank was down 0.14%. On the other hand, Sterlite Industries was up 0.24% and Infosys was up 0.14%.