Stocks are going nowhere

Stocks are trading little changed on Thursday morning.

Near 10:03 a.m. ET, the Dow was down 8 points, the S&P 500 was up 1 point, and the Nasdaq was up 3 points.

On Wednesday, the Nasdaq closed about 13 points of the record high it set in March 2000. The S&P 500 closed about 10 points away from its record.

It was a busy morning for earnings, however, and here are some of the highlights:

  • Dunkin’ Brands shares surged by more than 7% after the company topped earnings expectations for earnings and revenues, and also raised its outlook for the year.
  • Caterpillar also smashed earnings forecasts, but had a grim outlook for growth in the world’s second-largest economy.
  • Pepsi revenues fell 3.2% in the first quarter, mostly due to the strong dollar.
  • General Motors missed forecasts, with weak growth in Europe and South America, but a strong performance in North America amid the ignition switch recall saga.

In economic data, new home sales plunged 11.4% in March to an annual rate of 481,000, way below expectations for a 4.5% fall in March to an annualized rate of 515,000.

Initial jobless claims rose to 295,000 last week, more than economists expected. Expectations were for the report to show that claims totaled 287,000 last week, down slightly from the prior week’s 294,000.

Markit’s manufacturing PMI slipped to 54.2 in April from 55.7 in March. “Manufacturers saw a disappointing start to the second quarter, reporting the weakest growth since January,” Markit’s Chris Williamson said.”

New homes sales also fell 11.4% to an annualized rate of 481,000, widely missing expectations.

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