Wall St. retreats from record highs on mixed data

A trader listens to an announcement by the U.S. Federal Reserve on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New YorkBy Angela Moon NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stocks fell on Thursday, a day after the Dow and the S&P 500 indexes closed at record highs as investors digested a mixed bag of economic reports. The three major U.S. stock indexes extended losses to hit session lows following a batch of data that sent mixed signals on the economy – the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week to the highest in nearly nine months and home resales fell to the lowest in nearly a year, while the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank's index of factory activity rose slightly in December. It's been a strong year, and I wouldn't be surprised if investors closed out their year today or tomorrow since there isn't much room or news to move higher from here until next year," said Doug Foreman, co-chief investment officer of Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management. "I was surprised by the Fed's decision and delighted with the market's response," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer of BMO Private Bank in Chicago.

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