FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

U.S. equity markets closed little changed as traders analyzed data on the labor and housing markets. 

Today's Markets

According to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 19.5 points, or 0.12%, to 16552, the S&P 500 advanced 6.2 points, or 0.33%, to 1894 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 28.9 points, or 0.7%, to 4160.

The markets posted strong gains in the past session. However, volume on the New York Stock Exchange has been more than 15% below average, leading some market participants to question the conviction of this week's moves. 

On the economic front, the National Association of Realtors reports sales of existing single-family homes rose 1.3% to an annualized rate of 4.65 million units in April, slightly below Wall Street’s expectation for an increase to 4.68 million units.

The Labor Department said the number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits rose last week to 326,000 from an upwardly revised 298,000 the week prior. Wall Street expected claims to rise to 310,000 from an initially reported 297,000.

The economy has been bouncing back from an unusually harsh winter. 

In corporate news, Best Buy (BBY) posted mixed quarterly results. Sears Holdings (SHLD) said its fiscal first-quarter loss is widening amid falling sales, sending shares of the struggling department store sliding. Hess (HES) said it will sell its retail business to Marathon Petroleum (NYSE: MPC) for $2.6 billion. JD.com (JD) is set to make its debut on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol "JD." 

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures fell 3 cents, or 0.03%, to $104.05 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.1% to $2.997 a gallon. Gold rose $9.30, or 0.72%, to $1,298 a troy ounce. 

Follow Adam Samson on Twitter @adamsamson.