Wall Street, Awash with News, Wavers

By MarketsFOXBusiness

FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

U.S. stock-index futures were little changed in early action as traders awaited a slew of key economic data.

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Today's Markets

As of 2:58 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 43.3 points, or 0.26%, to 16537, the S&P 500 declined 2.8 points, or 0.15%, to 1881 and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 3.2 points, or 0.08%, to 4118.

The Dow logged a fresh closing high on Wednesday, while the broad S&P 500 climbed closer to its record high, as traders cheered upbeat data on the labor market and shrugged off much weaker-than-expected GDP data. The data storm continues raging on Thursday, with many reports out.

The Commerce Department said consumer spending rose 0.9% in March from the month prior, the biggest increase since August 2009, and a wider increase than the 0.6% Wall Street expected. Personal income climbed 0.5%, a bigger gain than the 0.4% economists expected.

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits rose last week to 344,000 from an upwardly revised 330,000 the week prior, the Labor Department reported. Wall Street was looking for claims to fall to 319,000 from an initially-reported 329,000.

The Institute for Supply Management’s gauge of manufacturing activity rose to 54.9 in April from 53.7 in March, topping Wall Street estimates of 54.3. Readings above 50 indicate expansion, while those below point to contraction.

The reports come ahead of the April jobs report, due on Friday.

In corporate news, ExxonMobil (NYSE:F) revealed mixed first-quarter results. Ford (NYSE:F) said CEO Alan Mulally will be retiring in July and be replaced by COO Mark Fields. Fiat's (NYSE:FIATY) Chrysler reported a 14% jump in April sales.

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures fell 84 cents, or 0.84%, to $98.90 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 0.76% to $2.942 a gallon. Gold slid $13, or 1%, to $1,283 a troy ounce.

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