Stocks End Mixed as Hope Trumps Data

The Dow industrials ended slightly higher while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq cut most of the day’s losses on Thursday, in a sign that investor sentiment remains generally positive despite several weak manufacturing surveys from around the world. the Dow Jones Industrial Average turning up late in the session to end at 13,596.93, up 18.97 points, or 0.14%. The S&P 500 Index ended down 0.79 point, or 0.05%,  at 1,460.26. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 6.66 points, or 0.21%, to 3,175.96

Oracle (ORCL) reported quarterly earnings that were in line with analysts’ expectations, but its revenue fell short of forecasts on Thursday. It posted fiscal first-quarter earnings excluding items of 53 cents per share, up from 48 cents a share in the year-earlier period. Net income rose 6 percent to $2.6 billion. Revenue decreased 2 percent to $8.21 billion from $8.4 billion a year ago.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT) will no longer sell Amazon.com Inc’s Kindle eReaders and tablets, severing its relationship with a major competitor and placing a bet that consumers are more interested in Apple’s iPad and other gadgets.

Cintas Corp. (CTAS) said late Thursday that its first-quarter profit rose to $76.7 million, or 60 cents a share, from $68.6 million, or 52 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue increased to $1.05 billion from $1.02 billion last year.

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