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VOL. 40 | NO. 15 | Friday, April 8, 2016

US stocks edge mostly lower in late morning trading

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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are edging mostly lower Thursday morning. Tech stocks are falling after dour projections from Seagate Technology. Strong first-quarter results from Delta are giving airlines a boost.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 12 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,921 as of 11:25 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell less than a point to 2,081. The Nasdaq composite edged down 4 points, or 0.1 percent, 4,943.

After making big jumps the last two days, stocks are little changed. Telecommunications companies are making the biggest gains and consumer goods companies are down the most.

TECH TROUBLES: Data storage company Seagate Technology said its third-quarter profit margins and revenue will be lower than expected. The company said it's seeing lower demand for some kinds of hard disk drives. Its stock slumped $6.73, or 18.5 percent, to $27.66. Western Digital fell $3.47, or 7.7 percent, to $41.33 and NetApp lost $1.09, or 4.1 percent, to $25.61.

FLYING HIGH: Delta Air Lines' first-quarter profit jumped 27 percent, helped by low fuel costs. Delta's stock gained 72 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $48.76. American Airlines rose $1.28, or 3.2 percent, to $41.22 and United added $1.33, or 2.4 percent, to $56.91.

BANKS: Banks traded a bit higher as they continued to report their quarterly earnings. The results were mixed. Bank of America's profit fell on weak results from trading, but the outcome wasn't any worse than investors expected. The stock picked up 29 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $14.08.

Wells Fargo's profit fell as it set aside more money to cover its struggling portfolio of oil and gas loans. Still, it earned more money than analysts expected. The stock fell 37 cents to $48.66. First Republic Bank jumped $4.05, or 6 percent, to $71.55 after the San Francisco bank reported a bigger-than-expected profit.

Bank stocks jumped Wednesday after JPMorgan Chase, the largest U.S. bank, reported results that beat expectations.

PIER PRESSURE: Pier 1 Imports is falling after the home decor company gave a shaky outlook for the first half of its fiscal year. Pier 1 said it expects "pressure" on its profit and sales because of marketing expenses, including a return to TV advertising, as well as price markdowns. The stock gave up 15 cents, or 2 percent, to $7.19.

UNEMPLOYMENT FALLS: Claims for unemployment benefits dropped sharply last week and reached their lowest level since 1973. They've been at low levels for a year, which indicates the job market is healthy and employers aren't letting go of workers. That suggests many companies see the recent slowdown as temporary.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 19 cents to $41.94 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 22 cents to $44.40 a barrel in London.

OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX was up 0.5 percent while the CAC-40 in France rose 0.3 percent. The FTSE 100 index in Britain held steady. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 closed 3.2 percent higher as the yen weakened slightly against the dollar. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.8 percent and South Korea's KOSPI climbed 1.7 percent.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 1.79 percent from 1.77 percent. The euro fell to $1.1263 from $1.1283 and the dollar slipped to 109.17 yen from 109.24 yen.

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