NEW YORK (Reuters) – The benchmark S&P 500 ended little changed on Thursday as a fall in U.S. jobless claims offset data showing a contraction in U.S. manufacturing activity while investors awaited Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech on Friday for clues on the central bank’s monetary policy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 51.21 points, or 0.2%, to 26,253.94, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 1.37 points, or 0.05%, to 2,923.06 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 28.82 points, or 0.36%, to 7,991.39.

Reporting by April Joyner; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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