Stocks Opened Lower after Economic Data

U.S. stocks opened lower on Thursday, as investors assessed a deluge of data, including weekly jobless
claims, consumer prices, manufacturing and industrial production. The Dow Jones industrial average
lately fell 73.69 points, or 0.44 percent, at 16,540.28. The Standard & Poor’s 500 shed 9.61 points, or
0.51 percent, at 1,878.92. The Nasdaq Composite was down 17.62 points, or 0.43 percent, at4,083.01.

The fewest Americans in seven years filed applications for unemployment benefits last week as the labor
market continued to improve. Jobless claims dropped by 24,000 to 297,000 in the week ended May 10, less than any economist projected in a Bloomberg survey and the least since May 2007, figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington.

Consumer prices posted the biggest increase in April since last summer as the cost of many staples rose, making it harder for Americans to stretch their paychecks to pay for typical household expenses. The consumer price index jumped a seasonally adjusted 0.3% last month to mark the largest gain since June, the Labor Department said.

Industrial production dropped 0.6% in April, as utilities output tumbled during the month. March’s
growth was revised up to show a 0.9% gain from an initially estimated 0.7% gain. Capacity utilization
fell to 78.6% from 79.3%.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc forecast second-quarter profit below analysts’ estimates after reporting its smallest growth in quarterly sales in nearly five years, as a severe winter kept shoppers from its stores. The company earned $1.10 per share from continuing operations, missing the average analyst estimate of $1.15 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Total revenue rose 0.8 percent to $114.96 billion, missing the average analyst estimate of $116.27 billion.

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