NEW YORK, July 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks extended losses on Thursday despite upbeat jobs data as concerns over global economy continued to put a lid on market sentiment.
Both the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 suffered their sixth straight losses. The blue-chip Dow lost 31.26 points, or 0.25 percent, to end at 12,573.27 while the broader S&P 500 was down 6.69 points, or 0.50 percent, to 1,334.76.
The Nasdaq Composite Index extended losses to the fifth consecutive day, dropping 21.79 points, or 0.75 percent, to 2,866. 19.
Market sentiment was still sour after knowing that policy makers were not willing to launch more dramatic measures to boost the economy.
The highly-anticipated minutes from the Federal Reserve's June meeting showed few members expressed the view that further policy stimulus likely would be necessary to promote satisfactory growth in employment and to ensure that the inflation rate would be at the Committee's goal.
The wait-and-see attitude of the central bank was clearly a disappointment for investors, as many were expecting that the central bank will launch future easing policies in the face of more and more signs of global economic slowdown.
With worries about further economic slowdown, investors were not impressed even after the latest jobs data showed a surprising decline in initial claims as analysts believed that the drop was largely due to temporary factors.
The Labor Department said the number of people filing for jobless claims dropped 26,000 to 350,000 last week, which was the lowest level since March 2008.
Adding to the losses, billionaire investment guru Warren Buffett said early Thursday that weak demand is hurting his retail, jewelry, carpet and other businesses.
Meanwhile, his outlook for the broad economy was dimmer than earlier this year, saying the U.S. economy has been through a clear slowdown in the past six weeks.
In other markets on Thursday, the U.S. dollar traded mixed against major currencies in late New York trading while oil prices gained after the United States announced more sanctions against Iran.
Light, sweet crude for August delivery rose 0.27 dollars, or 0. 3 percent to settle at 86.08 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Now all eyes were on China as the world's second largest economy releases its newest gross domestic product data on Friday, which was expected to show the weakest expansion in three years.
Investors will also keep a close watch on Friday when JPMorgan Chase becomes the first bank to report second-quarter results, which is believed to set the tone for the market in the following days.
Investors will be especially willing to know how deep the bank' s loss is after the huge trading scandal which rattled the company 's stock price and hurt its reputation.