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Mixed economic news keeps stock gains in check

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By Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Conflicting signs about the economic recovery caused stock indexes to pare early gains Thursday even after LinkedIn became the biggest Internet IPO since Google went public in 2004.

Stocks opened higher after the Department of Labor reported that applications for unemployment dropped 29,000 last week, more than expected, to 409,000. Indexes gave up those early gains after three negative reports on the economy came out at midmorning.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 23 points, or 0.2 percent, to 12,583 in midday trading. The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up 1, or 0.1 percent, to 1,342. The Nasdaq composite index added 5, or 0.2 percent, to 2,820.

The National Association of Realtors said fewer people purchased previously occupied homes in April. The Conference Board's outlook for future economic activity decreased for the first time since June 2010. And the Philadelphia Federal Reserve said that its measure of manufacturing activity slumped to its lowest reading since October.


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