Stocks Opened Modestly Up, Costco 3Q Profit Tops Estimates

U.S. stocks opened modestly higher on Thursday after economic reports had the U.S. economy growing less than expected last quarter and jobless claims rising more than estimated last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 73.72 points to 15,376.52. The S&P 500 index rose 9.86 points to 1,658.22. The Nasdaq Composite rose
23.88 points to 3,491.40.

Gross domestic product, a measure of the country’s total economic output, expanded at a 2.4 percent annual rate during the first quarter, down a tenth of a point from an initial estimate, the Commerce Department said on Thursday.  Analysts had forecast a 2.5 percent gain.

Another report on Thursday showed the number of new jobless claims rose last week. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 354,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were revised to show 4,000 more applications received than previously reported.

Costco’s fiscal third-quarter net income climbed 19 percent, bolstered by increased sales and more money from membership fees. For the three months ended May 12, the wholesale club operator earned $459 million, or $1.04 per share. That’s up from $386 million, or 88 cents per share, a year earlier.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) said on Thursday that its quarterly profit rose 26 percent on stronger lending volumes and lower loan-loss provisions.

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