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Market Update

U.S. Stocks Advance, Weekly Jobless Claims Drop Near 5-Year Low

Author: Nichole Harper
Last Update: 11:50 AM ET April 25 2013

11:45 AM New York – Market indexes in New York traded higher after weekly jobless claims dropped near the five-week low. On the earnings front, Akamai Technologies, Cliff Natural Resources and Exxon Mobile reported better than expected results.

Stocks advanced in New York after weekly jobless claims declined to the lowest level in nearly five years.

The S&P 500 index increased 0.65% or 10.21 to 1,589 and the narrow index of 30 stocks, the Dow Jones increased 77.02 or 0.5% to 14,753.32.

The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 0.8% or 28.31 to 3,297.94.

The claims of initial jobless benefits fell to 339,000 for the week ending Saturday, lower from the previous week’s revised claims of 355,000, according to the Labor Department today.

The weekly claims were close to the post-recession low of 334,000 reported in March. Weekly claims have fallen below 340,000 only for the second time since February 2008.

The four-week average, after adjusting for short term seasonal factors, declined last week to 357,500 compared to revised 362,000 in the previous week.

European Markets

In London trading, FTSE 100 index edged up 0.2% or 10.7 to 6,442 and in Frankfurt the DAX index gained 0.6% or 50.1 to 7,809. In Paris, CAC 40 index slid 0.2% or 7.3 to 3,836.

UK barely averted a triple-dip expansion after the economy expanded at 0.3% annual rate in the March quarter.

The GDP rose 0.6% compared to a year ago period as the government austerity measures cut spending and the island nation struggles to revive the job market but bloated defense expense and weak retail sales hamper the economy.

UK economy is stuck in the longest peace time slump since at least 1920, according to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

Banco Santander SA, Spain based financial institution said first quarter net interest income declined 14.3% to €6.65 billion. Profit for the quarter plunged 25.9% to €1.21 billion compared to €1.63 billion. Earnings per share declined 33% to €0.12 from €0.17.

Asian Markets

Stocks in Tokyo traded higher but the mood around trading desks was cautious after the benchmark Nikkei index jumped to five-year high and latest earnings revisions were less than expected.

Canon lifted its earnings outlook but was cautious for the year and Nintendo reported second quarterly loss and Shiseido booked an impairment charge on a $1.7 billion in 2010.

Ministry of Finance said foreign investors were net sellers of Japanese equities in the week ending on April 19, with a net outflow of 27.9 billion yen. Foreign investors added net 1.57 trillion yen of stocks in the previous week.

The yen strengthened to 99.37 against one dollar ahead of the Bank of Japan’s two-day policy meeting ending on April 26.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 82.62 or 0.6% to 13,926.08 and the Sensex Index in Mumbai rose 1.2% and extended gains for the fourth day in a row after a rally in pharmaceuticals and banks.

Jet Air agreed to sell 24% stake in the airline to Abu Dhabi based Etihad Airways for $379 million with an eye towards streamlining air travel between the Gulf region and India.

Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.9% and Hang Seng Index increased 1%. Kospi Index in Seoul increased 0.8% after the economy expanded at 0.9% in the March quarter faster than the previous quarter growth of 0.3%.

Stocks in Review

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc