Stocks Ended Mixed, Despite Apple’s Swoon

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose for a fifth day on Thursday, helped by a round of economic data including jobless claims. while Apple Inc.’s worst day in four years sank the Nasdaq Composite.  The S&P 500 squeaked out a 0.01 gain, its seventh straight advance. At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 46.00 points, or 0.33%, to 13825.33. The Standard & Poor’s 500 ended up 0.01 point, to 1494.82. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 23.29 points, or 0.74%, to 3130.38.

The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell last week to the lowest level in five years. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly unemployment benefit applications dropped 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 330,000. That’s the fewest since January 2008. 

Microsoft reported quarterly earnings that were a penny higher than Wall Street’s forecasts and revenue that was just shy of what analysts had expected on Thursday. The company posted fiscal second-quarter earnings excluding items of 76 cents per share, down from 78 cents a share in the year-earlier period. Revenue increased 3 percent to $21.46 billion from $20.89 billion a year ago.

AT&T Inc.’s fourth-quarter loss narrowed as the company’s wireless subscriber growth accelerated. For the fourth quarter, the company reported a loss of $3.86 billion, or 68 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $6.68 billion, or $1.12. Revenue rose 0.2% to $32.58 billion.

The nation’s crude oil supplies increased last week, the government said Thursday. Crude supplies rose by 2.8 million barrels, or 0.8 percent, to 363.1 million barrels, which is 8.5 percent above year-ago levels, the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.

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