The markets were mixed on Thursday. Positive economic indicators and a lingering sigh of relief from yesterday’s debt-ceiling vote in the House helped pull the S&P into positive territory alongside the Dow. The Nasdaq ended the day in the red, largely because of tremendous losses from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).
At the close: DJIA: +0.33%, S&P 500: +0.04%, NASDAQ: -0.74%.
Here are three stories that helped shape markets today:
1) Initial unemployment claims dropped 1.5 percent to 330,000 for the week ended January 19, the lowest rate in five years. The four-week moving average dropped 2.3 percent to 351,750, and is approaching pre-crisis levels.
The drop in claims for the week was unexpected, and taken with strong growth in manufacturing activity adds good news to a growing list of positive economic signs. The Purchasing Managers Index for manufacturing rose to 56.1, indicating growth momentum. New jobs in manufacturing are being created at the fastest pace in nine months, and new orders have climbed to their highest levels in two years…