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US stocks dip on 2015 rate hike

By on May 26, 2015

United States stocks finished last week lower in light pre-holiday trade after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the plan to raise interest rates this year was on track, AFP reported.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 53.72 points (0.29 per cent) to 18,232.02.

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 4.76 (0.22 per cent) to 2,126.06, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 1.43 (0.03 per cent) to 5,089.36.

Yellen said delaying a move to raise interest rates “would risk overheating the economy.” However, she also warned that the US economy continues to show weakness, with significant job market slack not reflected in the 5.4 per cent jobless rate.

Analysts said trading volume was light ahead of Monday’s Memorial Day holiday, when markets will be closed.

Shares of clothing retailer Gap fell 1.4 per cent after first-quarter net income dropped eight per cent to $239m. Comparable sales at its Old Navy chain rose three per cent, but fell sharply at Banana Republic and its namesake stores.

Farm equipment maker Deere & Co. jumped 4.4 per cent after easily topping earnings expectations. It reported profits of $2.03 per share, compared with the $1.55 projected by analysts.