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US stock markets close on a flat note on Friday

The US stock markets closed on a flat note on Friday, after it witnessed wild swings, trading in a range of 400 points during the day.

twitter-logo PTI   New York     Last Updated: August 10, 2011  | 11:30 IST

The US stock markets closed on a flat note on Friday, after it witnessed wild swings, trading in a range of 400 points during the day.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended the day up 61 points, or 0.5 per cent, at 11,444.68.

The S&P 500 closed lower by a point, or 0.1 per cent, at 1,199.

The Nasdaq composite index shed 24 points, or 0.9 per cent, to close at 2,532.

The stocks opened higher in early trade, after the government announced that 117,000 jobs were added in July, bringing the unemployment rate down one tick to 9.1 per cent.

The markets opened with the Dow rising nearly 150 points.

However, the gains were short-lived. The index soon plunged by more than 200 points.

America's economic woes continued towards the end of the day when credit rating agency Standard & Poor's announced it had downgraded its top 'AAA' credit rating for the United States by a notch to 'AAplus' for the first time in its history.

The credit rating agency said the downgrade reflected its opinion that the "fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilise the government's medium-term debt dynamics."

It added that the downgrade reflected its view that the "effectiveness, stability and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges to a degree more than we envisioned when we assigned a negative outlook to the rating on April 18, 2011."

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