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Stocks Flat On Mixed News

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were trading flat on Wall Street as investors weighed stronger corporate earnings against disappointing economic reports.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 3.5 points to 13,066 shortly before noon Thursday. The S&P 500 was up less a half a point to 1,386.

Morgan Stanley rose 2 percent after the bank trounced earnings and revenue estimates. UnitedHealth Group, eEBay, Southwest Airlines and Bank of America also beat forecasts.

Stock indexes initially fell after an index of regional manufacturing dropped sharply and the National Association of Realtors said home sales fell 2.6 percent last month.

Earlier, the Labor Department said applications for unemployment benefits dipped 2,000 to 386,000. When the number is above 375,000, investors take it as a sign that hiring isn’t strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.

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