Stocks Opened Higher, Oil Continued to Rise

U.S. stocks opened slightly higher on Thursday as oil prices continued to rise. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately added 15.93 points, or 0.10%, to 16,469.76. The S&P 500 shed 1.15 points, or 0.06%, to 1,925.67. The Nasdaq Composite was down 4.57 points, or 0.10%, to 4,529.50.

U.S. new jobless claims fell in mid-February to a three-month low.Initial claims declined by 7,000 to 262,000 in the seven days stretching from Feb. 7 to Feb. 13, the government said Thursday.

Oil rose to $35 a barrel on Thursday after Iran welcomed plans by Russia and Saudi Arabia to freeze output and an industry report showed a surprise drop in U.S. inventories. Brent rose 60 cents to $35.10 a barrel by 1248 GMT.

The OECD cut its global growth forecasts, saying the economies of Brazil, Germany and the U.S. are slowing and warning that some emerging markets are at risk of exchange-rate volatility. Global gross domestic product will expand 3.0 percent in 2016, the same pace as in 2015 and 0.3 percentage point less than predicted in November, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Thursday in a report.
Walmart (WMT) said Thursday its fourth quarter earnings fell 7.9% due to lower sales and higher operating expenses.Walmart, headquartered in Bentonville, Ark., reported net income of $4.57 billion for the three month period ended Jan. 31, compared to $4.97 billion in the year-ago period.

MGM Resorts International shares (MGM) slumped 5% in premarket trade Thursday, after the company reported a loss for the fourth-quarter. The company said it had a loss of $1.47 billion, or $1.38 a share, after a loss of $287.4 million, or 70 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.

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