Stocks Opened Lower and Turned Mixed after Economic Data

U.S. stocks opened lower and turned mixed in the early trading on Thursday as investors reacted to a raft of weaker-than-expected economic data, earnings results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 20.10 points, or 0.11%, to 18,222.72. The S&P 500 was off 0.57 point, or 0.03%, to 2,143.72. The Nasdaq Composite fell 5.82 points, or 0.11%, to 5,240.59.

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose to the highest level in five weeks but still remained close to the recent 43-year lows. Weekly applications for jobless benefits rose by 13,000 last week to 260,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The U.S. is growing at a moderate pace and is likely to do into early next year, according to an index that measures the nation’s economic health. The leading economic index rose 0.2% in September, a reversal of the 0.2% decline in August, the Conference Board said Thursday.

Sales of previously-owned homes rebounded solidly in September, a signal that the housing recovery remains on track after a summer lull. Existing-home sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.47 million, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley said late Wednesday that he expects the central bank will be able to raise interest rates before year-end, but the job this year should be more predictable than when it did so last December.

Verizon today reported mixed third-quarter earnings and saw growth in subscriber numbers. Verizon reported $30.9 billion in revenues for the quarter with non-GAAP earnings at $1.01.

Walgreens Boots Alliance earnings topped $1 billion during the fourth quarter, easily surpassing analyst expectations, but also announced a delay in closing its latest megadeal. In the most recent quarter, Walgreens earned $1.03 billion, up from only $26 million in last year’s quarter.

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