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U.S. stocks were little changed as renewed concern about Europe’s debt crisis offset a drop in jobless claims to a four-year low.
Equities trimmed early losses after Labor Department data showed unemployment claims in the U.S. fell 6,000 to 357,000 in the week ended March 31, the fewest since April 2008. The median forecast of 43 economists in a Bloomberg News survey estimated a decrease to 355,000. The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls also dropped, while those getting extended payments increased.
Stocks fell earlier as Spanish bonds declined for a third day today, pushing the spread between yields on 10-year Spanish and German debt to more than 400 basis points for the first time since Dec. 12.
Dow 13,060.22 -14.53 -0.11%, Nasdaq 3,081.00 +12.91 +0.42%, S&P 500 1,398.45 -0.51 -0.04%
The Morgan Stanley Cyclical Index lost 0.3 percent. Alcoa (АА) declined 1 percent to $9.71, while General Electric (GE) erased 0.9 percent to $19.56.
Constellation Brands Inc. plunged 13 percent, the most in the S&P 500, to $21.37. The world’s largest wine company said comparable earnings per share may be $1.93 to $2.03. Analysts projected profit of $2.23, the average of 12 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.
Polycom Inc., a maker of videoconferencing equipment, slumped 18 percent to $15 after saying preliminary first-quarter earnings and revenue fell short of analysts’ expectations.
Bed Bath & Beyond rose 9.2 percent to $72.29 for the biggest increase in the S&P 500. The retail-chain operator posted a fourth-quarter profit of $1.48 a share, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.32.
PPG Industries Inc. climbed 2.8 percent to $96.52. The world’s second-biggest paint maker reported first-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates on increased demand from the aerospace and automotive markets.
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