The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Business

May 3, 2012

US stocks mixed after conflicting economic reports

NEW YORK — Stocks are opening mixed after weak data about consumer spending overshadowed an encouraging signal about the labor market.

Big retailers including Costco, Macy’s and Target said Thursday that they sold less in April than Wall Street had estimated as colder temperatures kept shoppers home.

The number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell last week by the most in three months. That’s a hopeful sign before the main April jobs report, due out on Friday. A weak report on worker productivity added to the muddle.

The Dow Jones industrial average is up seven points at 13,275 in early trading. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is down a fraction. The Nasdaq composite average is down two at 3,057.

GM fell 2 percent in early trading after its first-quarter profit fell.

 

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