Thursday Mid-Day Movers: 3 Stories Driving Markets

The markets are mixed on Thursday afternoon. Good news out of China is playing against higher unemployment claims, and investors are looking ahead to more major earnings releases scheduled for tomorrow.

At 12:55 p.m.: DJIA: +0.20%, S&P 500: +0.31%, NASDAQ: -0.02%.

Gold is up 1.35 percent to $1,677.80 per ounce. Oil is also up about 1 percent to $94.01 per barrel. Ten-year yields are up 0.035 points to 1.891 percent.

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Here are three stories driving the markets:Show us Jobs New Feature 300x270

1) With the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rising more than expected last week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s weekly job report showed continued volatility in the labor market. For the the seven-day period ended January 5, jobless claims increased by 4,000 applications to 371,000. Economists polled by Bloomberg had anticipated claims to fall to 365,000 from the prior week’s revised total of 367,000… (Read more.)

2) More than five years have passed since the housing market collapsed, and only now are regulators addressing the manner in which financial institutions issue mortgages. As part of the reforms mandated by the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, a newly created consumer watchdog — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — announced new regulations on Thursday that would require lenders to verify a borrower’s ability to repay loans… (Read more.)

3) Everybody is watching China for signs of strength this year, and so far the world’s second-largest economy is not disappointing. Reports indicate that exports climbed 14.1 percent in December when compared to last year, way ahead of expectations for about 4 percent growth. Imports also climbed 6 percent, suggesting strength in the domestic economy.

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