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US: Wall Street grinds out split finish as volatility persists
[New York] US stocks lurched to a split finish on Thursday in another day of volatile trading, while President Donald Trump renewed his attacks on General Motors.
The major indices bounced between the black and the red for much of the day but movement was more subdued than the wild swings seen earlier in the week.
The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 per cent to finish at 24,597.38, gaining for a second straight day, while the S&P 500 closed essentially flat at 2,650.53, in the red by a nose.
Those key indices remained negative for the year.
Meanwhile, the Nasdaq fell 0.4 per cent to end the session at 7,070.33, the first negative close of the tech-heavy index in four trading days.
Earlier in the day, the European Central Bank trimmed its 2019 growth forecasts and warned of increasing risks for growth in the economic bloc.
Mounting political tribulations in Europe, together with Brexit and the US-China trade war have caused wide swings on Wall Street since October - just as investors became worried about flagging economic growth and rising US interest rates.
Shares in General Motors sank 1.6 per cent after Mr Trump again lashed out at the company and its CEO Mary Barra, renewing criticism of plans to cut jobs and close US plants.
"But they tell me a couple weeks before Christmas that she's going to close in Ohio and Michigan - not acceptable to me," Trump told Fox News, warning that GM would face obstacles to moving production Mexico due to the rewritten North American free trade pact.
Embattled engineering giant General Electric, however, had a good day, soaring 7.2 per cent following an analyst upgrade of its stock.
Consumer goods maker Procter & Gamble likewise jumped 2.6 per cent following a Bank of America upgrade to its stock.