NEW YORK, May 22 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks closed mixed on Friday as investors grappled with uncertainties over the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased 8.96 points, or 0.04 percent, to 24,465.16. The S&P 500 rose 6.94 points, or 0.24 percent, to 2,955.45. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 39.71 points, or 0.43 percent, to 9,324.59.
Investors continued to digest some key economic data.
U.S. initial jobless claims came in at 2.438 million in the week ending May 16, the Department of Labor reported Thursday.
Over the past nine weeks, more than 38 million Americans have filed unemployment insurance claims, as the economy continues to reel from the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday that the U.S. economy is facing an unprecedented level of uncertainty as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
"We are now experiencing a whole new level of uncertainty, as questions only the virus can answer complicate the outlook," Powell said at a virtual Fed event.
The U.S. central bank chief said while the burden is widespread, "those taking the brunt of the fallout are those least able to bear it."
As of Friday afternoon, more than 1.59 million confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in the United States, with over 95,000 deaths, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.