US stocks trade mixed amid upbeat earnings, downbeat data

New York, Jan 29 (IANS) US stocks shaved early gains to trade mixed around midday Thursday, as Wall Street pondered over positive earnings reports and negative economic data amid oil recovery.

At noon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 51.74 points, or 0.32 percent, to 15,892.72. The S&P 500 inched down 2.51 points, or 0.13 percent, to 1,880.44. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 8.32 points, or 0.19 percent, to 4,476.48.

Facebook, Inc. spiked more than 14 percent around midday Thursday following the release of its much-better-than-expected quarterly results.

After Wednesday’s closing bell, the social network reported that its total revenue during the fourth quarter of 2015 came in at $5.84 billion, from $3.85 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014, up 52 percent.

Shares of Alibaba reversed early gains to trade about 1 percent lower around midday Thursday, though the Chinese e-commerce giant delivered quarterly results that beat market estimates.

On the economic front, US new orders for manufactured durable goods in December decreased $12.0 billion, or 5.1 percent, to $225.4 billion, well below market consensus, the Commerce Department announced Thursday.

In the week ending January 23, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims was 278,000, a decrease of 16,000 from the previous week’s revised level, said the US Labor Department Thursday.

Oil prices continued to rally Thursday, with both the US oil and Brent crude jumping about 2 percent around midday Thursday, boosted by the possibility that major producers may cooperate to cut production.

Meanwhile, investors were still sifting through the Federal Reserve’s statement released Wednesday after a two-day policy meeting.

According to the statement, the US central bank will maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent, pledging to keep the monetary policy accommodative to support economic growth.

On Wednesday, US stocks ended sharply lower, as investors digested the Fed’s statement amid downbeat quarterly earnings reports.

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