April 24 2014 -- 4:15 p.m. - 04/24/14
Stocks finished slightly higher in a choppy trading session. The Dow closed unchanged at 16501. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 1878 and the NASDAQ gained 21 points to 4148.
The major averages spent the day toggling between gains and losses as investors assessed a large batch of earnings reports and economic data. Six of the 10 S&P 500 sectors finished in negative territory. Telecommunications and materials were the worst performing groups. Verizon lost 2.4% to $46.30 after posting a disappointing profit tally and a drop in wireless subscribers. Praxair fell 0.8% to $130.60 as the company reported sales and second-quarter guidance below analyst estimates.
On the upside, the technology sector staged a rally. Shares of Apple jumped 8.6% to $569.69 after the iPhone maker topped earnings expectations, raised its dividend and announced a seven-for-one stock split. Texas Instruments advanced 4.4% to $48.50 as it also posted a better-than-expected first-quarter profit and revenue. On the economic front, jobless claims unexpectedly jumped due to the seasonal adjustment around Easter and durable goods orders increased by the most in four months.
NYSE Composite volume totaled more than 3.1 billion shares. On the NYSE, advancers matched decliners on issues and on volume. The NASDAQ was 7-5 negative on issues and 6-5 negative on volume.
Treasuries rose for a second day and a government auction of seven-year notes attracted higher-than-average demand. The 10-year note gained 4/32 to yield 2.68%. The 30-year bond was up 13/32 to yield 3.46%.
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