Stocks on Wall Street opened Thursday with modest gains, as investors took in a slight drop in weekly unemployment claims and prepared for more earnings reports.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 36 points to 8860, and the
ticked up 4.3 points to 908. The
added 5 points to 1584.
Stocks ended Wednesday with losses as investor enthusiasm over the
historic rate cut Tuesday got overshadowed by a larger-than-expected loss at
Ahead of trading Thursday, the Labor Department reported that new applications for
fell to a seasonally adjusted 554,000 from an upwardly revised figure of 575,000 the week before. The number came in slightly below economists' expectations of 558,000.
reported second-quarter earnings that beat estimates by a penny a share and unveiled a plan to save costs that calls for a cut in its senior executives' pay and a one-year freeze on 401(k) contributions.
posted strong second-quarter results late Wednesday. The athletic apparel company reported net income of $391 million, or 80 cents a share, up 9%, from the $359.4 million, or 71 cents a share, it posted a year ago.
denied as untrue a report in
The Wall Street Journal
that said the company and
have reopened merger talks. GM, Chrysler and
continue to await word on a federal bailout for the U.S. auto industry.
is working on a massive economic stimulus package that could total $850 billion over two years to promote jobs, provide middle-class tax relief and expand aid for the poor.
Moving to commodities, crude oil was falling $1.66 to $38.40 a barrel. Gold was down $7.80 to $860.70 an ounce.
Longer-dated U.S. Treasury securities were rising in price. The 10-year was rising 1 3.5/32 to yield 2.1% and the 30-year was rising 1 12/32, yielding 2.6%. The dollar was weaker against the euro, pound, and yen.
Overseas, European exchanges such as the FTSE in London and the DAX in Frankfurt were mixed -- with the former down 0.01% and the latter up 1%, respectively. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended with gains.
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