US stocks close on mixed ground after Obama’s State of Union speech

<p>US stocks have closed on mixed footing after Barack Obama gave his State of the Union address.</p>

The major US benchmarks have closed on mixed ground after Barack Obama gave his State of the Union address in the House of Representatives yesterday (February 12th).

In the speech, the president pledged to reignite the stagnating economy and insisted that he and his fellow decision-makers would work to make changes that would benefit the many and not the few.

As well as promising action on the weighty issue of gun violence, immigration reform and climate change, he also vowed to up federal investment in infrastructure, clean energy and education.

Mr Obama stated that delivering a boost to employment would be the "North Star that guides our efforts" and claimed his administration's biggest task is "to reignite the true engine of America's economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class".

He faced criticism from his Republican opponents after the speech, with some politicians stating the president needs to look for other solutions for stimulating the economy besides raising taxes.

At close of play in New York last night, the Dow Jones rose by 0.3 per cent to 14018.7 points and the Nasdaq retreated by 0.1 per cent to 3186.4 points.

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