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Wall Street edges higher

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New York, May 31 (IANS) US stocks ended slightly higher as investors digested a batch of tepid economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 43.47 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 25,169.88 on Thursday. The S&P 500 rose 5.84 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 2,788.86. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 20.41 points, or 0.27 per cent, to 7,567.72, Xinhua reported.

Seven of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors traded higher around the closing bell, with the real estate sector up 0.6 per cent, leading the gainers.

Shares of Sanderson Farms rose nearly 3.2 per cent, as the US poultry producer reported stronger-than-expected earnings for the first quarter.

Yet shares of PVH Corp plunged nearly 14.9 per cent, as the apparel producer missed market estimates for its first-quarter revenue.

The maker of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger also slashed its full-year guidance due to concerns over US-China trade tensions.

On the economic front, US real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 3.1 per cent in the first quarter, according to the second estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis on Thursday.

Based on more complete source data, the first-quarter reading came higher than the 2.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018, yet was revised lower than the 3.2 per cent of the first estimate issued last month.

Besides, US initial claims, or the number of people applying for jobless benefits, rose to 215,000 in the week ending May 25, a slight increase of 3,000 from the previous week, said the Labor Department on Thursday.

The advance estimate of international trade deficit reached USD 72.1 billion in April, up USD 200 million from that of March, said the US Census Bureau in its monthly advance economic indicators report released Thursday.

Exports of goods for April were USD 134.6 billion. It was USD 5.9 billion less than March exports. Imports of goods for April also fell USD 5.6 billion to USD 206.7 billion from March.