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The Markets Now: Stocks Little Changed After Jobless Claims Report

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Bloomberg Consumer Confidence Index remains near multi-year highs.

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Despite the decline in initial weekly unemployment gains, stocks have remained flat today. Bloomberg's Consumer Confidence Index indicates consumers' perception of the economy is at its most positive in more than five years. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) increased 0.14% to 15,126.56. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) dropped 0.04% to 1,632.05, and the Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) rose 0.19% to 3,419.76.

The Department of Labor reported today that seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims decreased by 4,000 week-over-week to 323,000 for the week ending May 4. The 4-week moving average decreased by 6,250 week-over-week to 336,750. Seasonally adjusted continuing unemployment claims decreased by 27,000 week-over-week to 3,005,000 for the week ending April 27. The 4-week moving average decreased by 24,500 week-over-week to 3,034,250. Read the press release here.

Bloomberg released the weekly results for its Consumer Consumer Confidence Index today. Week-over-week it decreased 0.6 points to -29.5 for the week ending May 5. Despite the drop, the index stands at its highest since November of 2007.

The US Census Bureau reported today that March 2013 sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers' sales branches and offices, decreased 1.6% from February to $414.7 billion. Year-over-year, wholesale sales have increased 1.3%. The Census Bureau revised the February reading downward by 0.2% or $0.9 billion. Read the press release here.

The US Energy Information Administration released its Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report today. Working gas in storage increased by 88 billion cubic feet to 1,865 billion cubic feet for the week ending May 3. Year-over-year, inventories decreased 737 billion cubic feet. Read the press release here.

The US Treasury announced today that it will auction $29 billion in 3-month Treasury bills and $24 billion in 6-month Treasury bills on May 13. The Treasury began auctioning its 30-year bonds today at 1 p.m. EDT.

The Federal Reserve Board of Governors will report on its balance sheet and the money supply today at 4:30 p.m. EDT.

AT&T (NYSE:T) fell 1.10% to $37.42. The second largest US mobile service provider has launched Aio Wireless, a subsidiary that will offer prepaid wireless services. The service will first be available to customers in Houston, Orlando, and Tampa.

Apache (NYSE:APA) climbed 4.40% to $81.18. The oil and gas producer reported a net income $698 million, or $1.76 per share, compared to $778 million, or $2 per share, in the prior-year quarter. The company will also sell $4 billion in assets and use $2 billion of the proceeds to reduce debt while using the other half to repurchase 30 million shares.

News Corporation (NYSE:NWSA) jumped 4.80% to $33.39. The media company's fiscal third-quarter net income tripled to $2.85 billion, or $1.22 per share, compared to $937 million, or $0.38 per share, in the prior-year quarter. Excluding one-time items, the company earned $0.36 per share. Revenue climbed from $8.4 billion in the prior-year quarter to $9.54 billion.

MetLife (NYSE:MET) decreased 1.36% to $40.69. MetLife has made a bid for a controlling stake in the life insurance unit of Malaysian lender AMMB Holdings.

Monster Beverage Company (NASDAQ:MNST) plunged 6.99% to $52.99. The largest US energy drink maker by sales volume reported that first-quarter net income declined 17% to $63.5 million, or $0.37 per share, from $76.1 million, or $0.41 per share, in the prior-year quarter. Sales grew 7.3% year-over-year to $555 million. Terminating sales distributor agreements cut into Monster's profit by $8.3 million. The CEO Rodney Sacks announced that sales in April had slowed.

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
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