Stocks Start Session with Mild Losses

U.S. stocks opened modestly lower on Thursday, extending losses into a fourth day, as better-than-expected data on U.S. retail sales and the labor market failed to offset sharp losses in Japanese stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 10.52 points to 15,005.75. The S&P 500 index was up 0.96 points, or 0.06%, at 1,613.48. The Nasdaq Composite lost 1.39 points, or 0.04%, to 3,399.04.

The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week, nearing its lowest level in five years in a sign of resilience for the U.S. labor market. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined
12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 334,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Apple Inc is exploring launching iPhones with bigger screens, as well as cheaper models in a range of colors, over the next year, said four people with knowledge of the matter, as it takes a cue from rival Samsung Electronics.

Safeway Inc. is selling its supermarket operations in Canada to food retailer Sobeys for 5.8 billion Canadian dollars ($5.7 billion).

Gannett Co Inc (GCI), the largest newspaper chain in the United States, agreed to pay $1.5 billion in cash for television company Belo Corp (BLC), with an aim to making broadcast a bigger part of the business than newspapers.

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