Stocks were choppy but essentially flat in early trading on Wall Street after a better-than-expected report showing a decrease in jobless claims last week.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 2 points, essentially flat at 13,177 shortly after the opening bell Thursday.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up half a point to 1,403. The Nasdaq gained 7 points, or 0.2%, to 3,018.
The Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims decreased by 6,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 361,000.
The four-week moving average, however, was 368,250, up 2,250 from the previous week's average, the department said.
Stocks ended the day mixed on Wednesday. Major U.S. indexes had rallied since Friday's better-than-expected employment report showing employers added 163,000 jobs in July.