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Stocks fluctuate after mixed profit reports

NEW YORK – Stocks fluctuated in early trading Thursday as several stronger-than-expected earnings reports raised hopes that the economy was starting to stabilize.

Several companies offered investors nuggets of optimism. Profits at Apple Inc. and eBay Inc. boosted expectations for technology companies. Defense contractor Raytheon Co. raised its full-year earnings forecast, and PNC Financial Services’ first-quarter profit came in well ahead of what analysts had been expecting.

Not all reports were upbeat, however. Earnings from UPS Inc., the world’s largest shipping carrier, fell short of expectations.

Investors are awaiting a report on home sales. Economists say a halt in the slide of home prices will help banks lend more and the overall economy recover. A real estate trade group’s report is expected to show sales of existing homes fell slightly in March after jumping sharply a month earlier.

The government said new unemployment claims rose more than expected last week, while the number of workers continuing to file claims for jobless benefits topped 6.13 million, the 12th straight weekly record.

In the first hour of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average slipped 1.99, or less than 0.1 percent, to 7,884.58.

Broader stock indicators rose. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 4.14, or 0.5 percent, to 847.69, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 3.30, or 0.2 percent, to 1,649.42.

The modest moves in the market’s major indicators came a day after stocks ended mostly lower on worries about the health of banks and concerns that the market has risen too fast since logging 12-year lows more than six weeks ago. The Dow is up 20.5 percent since then.

In other trading Thursday, bond prices fell, pushing the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note up to 2.97 percent from 2.94 percent late Wednesday.

Light, sweet crude rose 67 cents to $49.52 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices rose.

Overseas, Japan’s Nikkei stock average rose 0.22 percent. In afternoon trading, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.6 percent, Germany’s DAX index fell 0.5 percent, and France’s CAC-40 rose 0.2 percent.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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