The Straits Times
Published on Dec 13, 2012

Stocks are flat in the early going on Wall Street


NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks opened close to break-even on Thursday after the government said weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell to the second-lowest level this year.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up seven points at 13,252 after the first half-hour of trading. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up a fraction at 1,428. The Nasdaq composite index was down a fraction at 3,014.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell sharply for the fourth straight week. Applications fell 29,000 last week to 343,000, the second-lowest this year.

Industrial stocks rose the most and energy stocks fell the most, but no category of stock moved more than half a percent.