FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

U.S. equity markets hit the unchanged line after a tepid sale of American government debt sent traders scurrying for the sidelines. 

Today's Markets

As of 3:11 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 92.5 points, or 0.56%, to 16611, the S&P 500 advanced 9.7 points, or 0.52%, to 1887 and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 38.2 points, or 0.94%, to 4106.

After a mostly upbeat day, the markets took a turn of the worst in afternoon action. The Treasury Department saw the weakest demand since August 2011 in a sale of 30-year Treasury bonds. That offset optimism over strong data on the labor market. 

The U.S. economic docket is fairly quiet. The Labor Department said the number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to 319,000 from an upwardly revised 345,000 the week prior. Wall Street was looking for claims to fall to 325,000 from an initially reported 344,000.

The weekly data can be volatile, but generally, economists expect the economy to be bounce back this quarter from the chilling effects of a harsh Winter. 

The European Central Bank also held its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.25%. The ECB has held rates at historic lows amid concerns about low levels of inflation. President Mario Draghi will be holding a closely-watched press conference later in the day. 

On the corporate front, Barclays (BCS) said it would chop 7,000 investment banking jobs by 2016 as it restructures the company. Tesla (TSLA) posted upbeat headline results, but a disappointing outlook sent the electric car maker's shares heading sharply to the downside. 

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures fell 20 cents, or 0.2%, to $100.56 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.09% to $2.921 a gallon. Gold edged higher by 0.12% to $1,294 a troy ounce. 

Follow Adam Samson on Twitter @adamsamson.