Stocks Open Mixed As Europe Holds Off On Stimulus

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Stocks are opening mixed on Wall Street following news that Europe will hold off on new economic stimulus measures.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 18 points at 13,051 shortly after the opening bell Thursday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up half a point to 1,410. The Nasdaq composite was down a point at 2,973.

Europe's Central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged. Though rates remain at record lows, European unemployment continue to rise. The central bank cut its growth forecast for next year from positive to negative.

The Labor Department said unemployment benefits applications dropped 25,000 last week to 370,000, which is consistent with modest hiring.

H&R Block rose 3 percent after the tax preparation company reported a smaller quarterly loss.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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