Pedestrians pass the bronze Charging Bull sculpture next to Wall Street
New York - AFP
US stocks finished little changed Thursday as concerns about the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence and weak global inflation data weighed on sentiment.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 19.71 points (0.12 percent) to 17,049.00.
The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 1.76 (0.09 percent) to 1,997.45, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tacked on 5.28 (0.12 percent) to 4,591.81.
The prospect of a Scottish vote in favor of secession has sent jitters through European markets.
Meanwhile, Chinese data showed inflation easing to a four-month low of 2.0 percent in August, while German inflation stood at just 0.8 percent, its lowest level since February 2010.
Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities, said investors are seeking direction in a week light in US economic data and without major corporate earnings.
It is "wait and see mode for where the next real leg of the market is going to be," he said.
Yoga-attire manufacturer Lululemon Athletica bolted 13.9 percent higher as it reported earnings of 33 cents per share, above the 29 cents projected by analysts. Revenues of $390.7 million exceeded the expected $376.8 million.
Supermarket chain Kroger advanced 0.6 percent after raising its 2014 profit forecast from $3.19-$3.27 per share to $3.22-$3.28.
Eastman Chemical fell 1.1 percent after announcing a deal worth $2.8 billion to acquire Taminco Corp, the world's largest maker of alkylamines, which are used in the pharmaceutical and other industries. Taminco, which has the right under the deal to seek out better offers over the next 30 days, jumped 9.8 percent.
Electronics retailer RadioShack gained 9.6 percent to $1.02 as it warned of a possible bankruptcy if it is unable to restructure its finances following talks with creditors and other parties. The company reported a second-quarter loss of $137.4 million, more than the $80.2 million a year ago.
Bond prices were mixed. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury held steady at 2.53 percent, while the 30-year dipped to 3.25 percent from 3.27 percent Wednesday. Bond prices and yields move inversely.