Stocks Fluctuate after Economic Data

U.S. stocks fluctuated on Thursday morning after some economic reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 38.66 points, or 0.23%, to 16,462.99. The S&P 500 was down 3.09 points, or 0.16%, to 1,872.30. The Nasdaq Composite shed 9.56 points, or 0.23%, at 4,117.41.

Orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods rose more than expected in March and a measure of business capital spending plans surged, bolstering views of an acceleration in growth in the second quarter. The Commerce Department said on Thursday durable goods orders increased 2.6 percent as demand rose across all categories. Durable goods, which range from toasters to aircraft and are meant to last three years and more, increased 2.1
percent in February.

The number of Americans filing for new unemployment benefits jumped last week, a sign layoffs have increased since touching a seven-year low earlier this month.

General Motors on Thursday reported its worst quarterly performance in more than four years as the costs of a series of recalls dragged down earnings.First-quarter profit fell 86 percent to $125 million. The Detroit automaker took a $1.3 billion charge for recalling about 7 million vehicles worldwide. GM also incurred $300 million in restructuring costs, mostly in Europe. And it took another $419 million charge due to a change in the way it values Venezuela’s currency.

Aetna Inc.(AET) on Thursday said its first-quarter net income jumped 36%, as the health insurer posted higher membership and revenue thanks to its acquisition last year of Coventry Health Care. The company raised its full-year operating earnings forecast to $6.35 to $6.55 a share from its prior view of at least $6.25 a share.

Time Warner Cable Inc. said its first-quarter profit jumped 19% as the pay-TV and Internet provider logged growth in high-speed data and business services revenue, while adding to its overall residential subscriptions. Earnings topped analysts’ expectations.

Verizon Communications Inc. said its profit more than doubled for the first three months of the year. Verizon posted a profit of $3.95 billion, or $1.15 a share, up from $1.95 billion, or 68 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue improved 4.8% to $30.8 billion.

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