Stocks Open Flat Amid Upbeat Jobless Claims, Philly Fed Report

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks on Thursday opened little-changed, as a weekly report offered signs that the labor market remains healthy, and a reading of manufacturing in the Philadelphia region proved upbeat. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat at 18,582, the S&P 500 index held steady at 2,183, while the Nasdaq Composite Index was near break-even at 5,232. Jobless claims last week fell by 4,000 to 262,000, representing a one-month low, while so-called Philly Fed data turned positive. The muted moves for stocks come a day after minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee showed a divide at the central bank about when to resuming hiking interest rates. Elsewhere, shares of Wal-Mart were climbing after its second-quarter results beat Wall Street expectations, while Cisco Systems Inc. shares declined after the company said it planned to cut 5,500 jobs. Looking ahead, the market is awaiting clarity from Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen, who will speak at a conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo., on Aug. 26.

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