Stocks Edged Lower after Durable Goods, Jobless Data

U.S. stocks edged lower in early trading on Thursday after data on durable goods orders and initial jobless claims. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 34.36 points to 12,461.79. The S&P 500 Index fell 2.87 points to 1,315.99. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 15.21 points to 2,834.91.

Orders for long-lasting goods edged up 0.2% in April, the second rise in three months after demand for cars and car parts picked up. The Commerce Department reported Thursday that durable-goods orders reached a seasonally adjusted $215.5 billion after dropping 3.7% in March.

New claims for unemployment benefits fell slightly last week, government data on Thursday showed. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 370,000, the Labor Department said. The prior week’s figure was revised up to 372,000 from the previously reported 370,000.

A slump in construction output drove Britain even deeper into recession than initially thought in the first quarter of this year, raising the chance the Bank of England will inject more cash to prop up the faltering economy. Britain’s economy contracted by 0.3 percent between January and March, according to the Office for National Statistics, confounding forecasts for an unchanged reading of -0.2 percent. On the year, GDP shrank by 0.1 percent, the first annual decline since Q4 2009.

Tiffany & Co. cut its outlook for both sales and profit for the year, citing a slowdown in demand for its jewelry not only in the U.S. but in many other countries. Tiffany said that its net income amounted to $81.5 million, or 64 cents per share in the quarter ended April 30. That compares with $81.1 million, or 63 cents per share, a year ago. Tiffany said that it now expects earnings per share to be in the range of $3.70 per share to $3.80 per share for the year. It had originally expected $3.95 per share to $4.05 per share.






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