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Overnight Markets: Wall Street ends nearly flat on quiet trading day

Overnight Markets: Wall Street ends nearly flat on quiet trading day

Wall Street closed nearly flat on Thursday as investors paused after a rally in the previous session and weighed economic data that included jobless claims and home sales.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 11 points, or 0.07%, to finish at 16,179, a record closing high. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dipped one point, or 0.06%, to end at 1,810. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 12 points, or 0.29%, to close at 4,058.

Investors yesterday booked profits after Wednesday’s rally in the wake of Federal Reserve announcing a plan to trim its monthly bond purchases by $10 billion to $75 billion, beginning in January.

In economic news, the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week to the highest in nearly nine months, while home resales declined to the lowest in nearly a year. On the upside, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank's index of factory activity rose slightly in December.

Tech shares declined pushing down Nasdaq slightly, but the loss was limited by a rally in Oracle Corp (ORCL.N) shares a day after the company's results. Oracle's stock jumped 5.8%.

Red Hat Inc (RHT.N) shares surged 8.2% in extended-hours trading following the company's third-quarter results, which were released after the bell.

Facebook (FB.O) shares fell 0.9% after the social network company announced the offering of 70 million shares, including more than 41 million shares from chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, worth about $2.3 billion.

Among other tech names, Adobe Systems (ADBE.O) declined 1.5% and Texas Instruments (TXN.O) lost 1.5%, weighing on the Nasdaq.

Target Corp (TGT.N) slid 2.2% after the company said hackers might have stolen data from some 40 million credit and debit cards of shoppers.

In the deal news, Dish (DISH.O) is considering a bid for T-Mobile US (TMUS.N) next year, sources said. Dish rose 1%, while T-Mobile gained 8.7%.

In Asia, shares declined on Friday in late morning trade, led by Chinese stocks amid concern funding costs for the nation’s lenders will remain high even after the central bank injected cash into the financial system.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.2% to 138 as of 11:14 a.m. in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index sank 0.2% and China’s Shanghai Composite retreated 0.6%. Japan’s Topix index fell 0.5%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index (AS51) gained 0.8%, on course for a two-day gain of 2.9%. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slipped 0.1%. South Korea’s Kospi index advanced 0.1%, while Singapore’s Straits Times Index and Taiwan’s Taiex Index rose 0.3%.

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