Stocks Edged Up After Economic Data, Spanish Debt Woes

U.S. stocks began mainly higher on Thursday after U.S. consumer prices fell in May by the most in more than three years, the number of Americans filing for jobless benefits rose more than expected and panish bonds yields rose to a euro-era high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 19.52 points to 12,515.90. The S&P 500 Index rose 1.73 points to 1,316.61. The Nasdaq Composite declined 5.11 points to 2,813.50.

Consumer prices fell in May by the most in more than three years as households paid less for gasoline, possibly giving the U.S. Federal Reserve more room to help an economy that is showing signs of weakening. The consumer price index declined by a seasonally adjusted 0.3% last month, the first decrease in two years and the biggest drop since December 2008.

Another government report on Thursday pointed to persistent weakness in the labor market as the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits last week rose for the fifth time in six weeks. Jobless claims climbed by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 386,000 in the week ended June 9, the Labor Department said.

European leaders were facing increasing pressure on Thursday to respond to the euro crisis, as Spanish 10-year bond yields hit the 7 percent level that has served to trigger full international bailouts of other euro zone members, and Italian borrowing costs rose sharply at a debt auction.

Nokia(NOK1V.HE) plans to cut one in five jobs at its global cellphone business as it loses market share to rivals Apple(AAPL.O) and Samsung(005930.KS) and burns through cash, raising new fears over its future. Nokia Corp. Thursday announced sweeping changes to its business, including 10,000 additional job cuts and a broad management shake-up, as the struggling company cut its earnings outlook for the third time in a little over a year.

Crude-oil futures edged higher Thursday, gaining ahead of a gathering of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in which possible changes in the cartel’s production quota are expected to come up for discussion. Crude-oil futures edged higher Thursday, gaining ahead of a gathering of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in which possible changes in the cartel’s production quota are expected to come up for discussion.

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