Dow, S&P 500 Break Loss Streak

The Dow and the S&P 500 eked out minor gains on Thursday, breaking a streak of losses, as U.S. jobless claims fell in line with expectations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 19.98 points, or 0.16%, to 12,855.04. The S&P 500 ended up 3.41 points, or 0.25%, to 1,357.99. The Nasdaq Composite ended down 1.07 points, or 0.04%, to 2,933.64.

The U.S. government in April posted its first monthly budget surplus since September 2008, the Treasury Department said Thursday, as tax receipts climbed and spending on education, Medicare and certain defense programs fell. The surplus of $59 billion is the first of Barack Obama’s presidency, and lands at the outset of a presidential-election campaign expected to be fought largely over the issues of government spending, taxes and jobs.

The U.S. dollar turned higher versus the euro on Thursday, pushing up an index of the greenback’s performance against six major currencies for a ninth straight daily gain, its longest since August 2008. 

Crude-oil futures rebounded on Thursday, rising modestly as prices below $97 a barrel enticed buyers into the market. Crude for June delivery advanced 28 cents, or 0.3%, to end at $97.08 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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