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U.S. stocks end mixed ahead of Thanksgiving holiday

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NEW YORK, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) — U.S. stocks finished mixed on Wednesday, as the market took a breather after a record prior session.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased 173.77 points, or 0.58 percent, to 29,872.47. The S&P 500 was down 5.76 points, or 0.16 percent, to 3,629.65. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 57.62 points, or 0.48 percent, to 12,094.40.

Seven of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors dipped, with energy closing down 2.42 percent, leading the laggards. Consumer discretionary rose 0.58 percent, the best-performing group.

U.S.-listed Chinese companies traded mostly lower, with seven of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P U.S. Listed China 50 index ending the day on a downbeat note.

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Trading volumes were relatively thin in the last session ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Investors pored through a slew of economic data.

U.S. initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, rose to 778,000 in the week ending Nov. 21, following an upwardly revised 748,000 in the prior week, the Department of Labor reported on Wednesday. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected initial jobless claims to come in at 733,000.

U.S. economic activity in the third quarter grew at an annual rate of 33.1 percent in a second estimate, after a sharp contraction in the previous quarter, the Commerce Department reported on Wednesday.

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The rebound in the third quarter came after the economy plunged at a revised annual rate of 31.4 percent in the second quarter amid mounting COVID-19 fallout, which has been the largest decline since the U.S. government began keeping records in 1947.

The United States has reported more than 12.7 million COVID-19 cases in total with the death toll from the disease exceeding 261,000 as of Wednesday afternoon, showed a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

On Tuesday, U.S. equities achieved a milestone with the Dow rallying more than 400 points to close above the 30,000 mark for the first time in history.

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