Stocks Fall as Data Deflect Earnings

U.S. stocks declined for a second day on Thursday, pushing the Nasdaq Composite Index into the loss column for the week, as disappointing economic data and unease over Europe offset positive corporate results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average  shed 68.65 points, or 0.5%, to 12,964.10. The S&P 500 fell 8.22 points, or 0.6%, to 1,376.92. The Nasdaq Composite lost 23.89 points, or 0.8%, to 3,007.56.

The number of Americans claiming unemployment benefits for the first time fell only slightly last week. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 386,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The prior week’s data was revised to show 8,000 more applications received than previously reported.

Verizon Communications Inc posted first-quarter earnings and revenue that were slightly higher than Wall Street expectations as customers increased their spending on services such as wireless data. Verizon Wireless average monthly revenue per user (ARPU) for contract customers rose 3.6 percent in the quarter to $55.43 while data service revenue grew 16 percent to $23.80.

Morgan Stanley’s first-quarter results beat expectations, as trading revenue rose sharply and the bank’s wealth management business began to improve. The Wall Street investment bank reported a loss of $119 million, or 6 cents per share, compared with a profit of $736 million, or 50 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Net revenue totaled $6.9 billion. Excluding DVA, revenue was $8.9 billion, up from $7.8 billion a year earlier.

Bank of America Corp reported lower first-quarter profit as the second-largest U.S. bank took accounting charges related to its debt, but results topped analysts’ estimates as credit quality improved. First-quarter net income was $653 million, or 3 cents a share, down from $2.05 billion, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue declined to $22.3 billion from $26.9 billion.

Cisco has notified its employees that it has funded an advanced networking startup, called Insieme, with $100 million, with the right to eventually buy the company for as much as $750 million more.

The Spanish Treasury on Thursday sold €2.54 billion ($3.33 billion) in bonds dated 2014 and 2022, which was more than expected, but its borrowing costs rose.

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