Stocks Still Fighting QE3 Hangover

Dow Jones September 20 2012

U.S. stocks logged modest victories Thursday, after being stuck in the red for much of the day disappointing reports in Asia and Europe showed further signs of slowing global growth.

The Dow Jones Industrial average was in the green 18.97 points to close Thursday at 13,596.70

The S&P 500 index fell short of breakeven by 0.79 points, to 1,460.26, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index shaved off 6.66 points to 3,175.96

ConAgra Foods shares shot up more than 7% after the food processing company reported better-than-expected earnings.

Investment bank Jefferies also reported better-than-expected earnings before Thursday”s open, but shares of the firm fell nearly 6%.

Several companies, including CarMax, Rite Aid and Bed Bath & Beyond, reported earnings that missed expectations, sending their shares lower.

Shares of railroad operator Norfolk Southern declined after the company lowered its third-quarter guidance late Wednesday. Fellow rail transport firms CSX, Union Pacific and Kansas City Southern also fell on the news.

Online real estate site Trulia raised $102 million U.S. through an initial public offering that priced at $17 U.S. a share — above its estimated range. Shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday and rose more than 40% from the IPO price.

On the economic slate, data rolled in Thursday on first-time U.S. unemployment benefit claims, which came in at 382,000 for the week that ended Sept. 15. Although the U.S. Labor Department figure is down 3,000 from the previous week, it”s still not low enough to ease worries about continued high unemployment.

Elsewhere, firms responding to the September Business Outlook Survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reported nearly flat business activity this month. The survey”s indicators for both general activity and new orders improved from last month but recorded levels near zero.

The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury was flat, keeping yields at Wednesday”s close of 1.78%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions

Oil prices regained 16 cents a barrel to $92.14 U.S.

Gold prices inched up 50 cents an ounce to $1,770.70 U.S.

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) Stock Quote and News:

S&P 500 (SPX) Stock Quote and News:

Nasdaq (COMPX) Stock Quote and News:

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