NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. benchmark stock indices fell Thursday despite a decline in U.S. jobless claims. Worries about Iraq were putting a damper on the upbeat sentiment brought about by the Federal Reserve's supportive interest rate guidance on Wednesday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.04% to 16,899.58, the S&P 500 dipped 0.04% to 1,956.24, and the Nasdaq fell 0.13% to 4,357.25.
Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital, said his short-term intermediate objective on the S&P 500 remains at 1,965 even as fears over the situation in Iraq grow, given that the S&P 500 and the other leading indices have not departed far from their record highs in spite of that.
Remarks from the Federal Open Market Committee infused U.S. markets with renewed vigor on Wednesday. After spending much of the morning in the doldrums, the benchmark index S&P 500 booked a new record high, fueled by the Fed's assurances this recovery still has legs. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated the world's most powerful central bank will keep interest rates low for some time even as it pared its monthly bond buying program by $10 billion to $35 billion.
In Europe, stocks were staging a relief rally after the Fed's policy announcement.
The instability in Iraq, however, was offsetting some of the cheerfulness. The Wall Street Journal reportedthat the Obama administration is signaling that it wants a new government in Iraq without Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, convinced the Shiite leader is unable to reconcile with the nation's Sunni minority and stabilize a volatile political landscape.