The U.S. equity markets closed down across the board on Thursday. Underwhelming economic reports and corporate earnings were unable to dispel the pessimism that arrived with the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s January meeting, which revealed uncertainty over the future of asset purchases.
At the close: DJIA: -0.34%, S&P 500: -0.63%, NASDAQ: -1.04%.
On the commodities front, WTI crude (NYSEARCA:USO) for April delivery chased the markets and fell 2.37 percent to $92.96 per barrel, closing on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange at its lowest price since the beginning of 2013. Brent crude fell 1.62 percent to $113.73 per barrel.
The EIA Weekly Petroleum Status Report showed that crude oil inventories once again increased and still remain well above the upper limit for their average at this time of year. The national average price of gasoline for the week ended February 18 was $3.747, its ninth consecutive weekly increase.
U.S. 10-year Treasury yields fell 0.036 points to 1.973 percent after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Consumer Price Index was unchanged in January versus December, and up 1.6 percent year over year.