Stocks Fluctuate on Jobless Claims

U.S. stocks fluctuated in the early trading on Thursday, as jobless claims unexpectedly fell last week. The Dow JonesĀ Industrial Average lately dropped 6.17 points, or 0.04%, to 16,798.54. The S&P 500 was up 1.21 points, orĀ 0.06%, to 1,947.37. The Nasdaq Composite gained 6.65 points, or 0.15%, to 4,428.74.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, a sign the U.S. labor market might be tightening. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 287,000 in the week ended Sept. 27, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

The number of planned layoffs by U.S. employers fell to a 14-year low in September, according to a report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Employers planned to cut 30.477 jobs in the month, down from a little over 40,000 planned layoffs a month earlier.

The European Central Bank will buy assets for at least two years to boost inflation and economic growth in the euro area, President Mario Draghi said.

Constellation Brands (STZ) said it had net income of $196 million, or 98 cents a share, in its fiscal second
quarter. The company said adjusted per-share earnings came to $1.11, below the FactSet consensus of $1.15. Sales rose 10% to $1.608 billion, compared with the FactSet consensus of $1.643 billion.

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