Sluggish start for stocks after climb in unemployment claims

New York: Stocks are off to a sluggish start on Wall Street as investors look over a surprise increase in claims for unemployment benefits and mixed news on corporate earnings.

The S&P 500 was wavering between small gains and losses in the first few minutes of trading Thursday. It’s still holding on to a gain for the week.

Gains in a few big tech companies pushed the Nasdaq up 0.2per cent but the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3per cent.

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The Labor Department reported that unemployment claims rose last week to 419,000, the most in two months and more than economist were expecting.

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