U.S. stocks pared early losses to close mixed Thursday as investors were digesting the U.S. second quarter GDP report.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked down 5.41 points, or 0. 03 percent, to 17,745.98. The S&P 500 edged up 0.06 point, or less than 0.01 percent, to 2,108.63. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 17.05 points, or 0.33 percent, to 5,128.79.
The U.S. economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.3 percent in the second quarter, a moderate bounce from the revised 0.6-percent increase in the first quarter but missing market expectations of 2. 5 percent, the Commerce Department said Thursday.
The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday said the country's economy and job market continued to improve since June, a sign that the central bank remains on track to raise interest rate later this year. But it didn't provide a clear signal for the rate hike timetable.
The Fed has kept its benchmark short-term interest rate near zero since December 2008.
"Given the Fed's interpretive bias, which reveals committee members are really, really eager for some rate hikes, we suspect the FOMC will choose to ignore the fact that the economy is only growing at a 1.5-percent rate so far this year and will instead focus on the fact that Q2 growth was faster than Q1," said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, in a note. "To a data- dependent FOMC, that is just enough good news to tentatively begin raising rates as long as other data are supportive. September, therefore, remains 50-50."
Meanwhile, in the week ending July 25, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims was 267,000, an increase of 12,000 from the previous week's unrevised level, according to the U.S. Labor Department Thursday.
In corporate news, Facebook shares fell 1.84 percent to 95.21 dollars apiece Thursday, as the social media company's second- quarter net income dropped 9.1 percent from a year earlier.
The CBOE Volatility Index, often referred to as Wall Street's fear gauge, decreased 2.96 percent to end at 12.13 Thursday.
In other markets, the U.S. dollar rose against other major currencies as robust economic data from the country bolstered market expectation for an interest-rate hike by the year-end.
In late New York trading, the euro declined to 1.0921 dollars from 1.1006 dollars in the previous session, while the dollar bought 124.24 Japanese yen, higher than 123.94 yen of the previous session.
Oil prices inched down as a rally in the U.S. dollar weighed on the market.
The West Texas Intermediate for September delivery moved down 27 cents to settle at 48.52 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell also as the U.S. dollar strengthened.
The most active gold contract for December delivery lost 4.6 dollars, or 0.42 percent, to settle at 1,088.70 dollars per ounce.