NEW YORK, Jan. 27, 2011 (Xinhua News Agency) -- U.S. stocks traded mixed Thursday as claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected and manufacturing profits increased.
According to the Labor Department, initial claims for state unemployment benefits jumped 51,000 to a seasonally adjusted 454, 000, the highest since late October. That was the largest weekly increase since September 2005.
The jobless claims rose because harsh weather conditions in some parts of the country kept workers at home and caused a backlog in processing the claims.
The market was also influenced by strong profits from the manufacturing sector. Companies including Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) , Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE:TYC) and Eaton Corp. (NYSE:ETN) posted strong sales and earnings, and investors were looking ahead to their full-year forecasts for signs that strong industrial demand would begin to affect the wider economy.
Meanwhile, the U.S. government said Thursday it will alter its borrowing strategy to buy some time before hitting the 14.3 trillion dollars debt ceiling.
Moreover, the National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in December, was up 2 percent to 93.7 from a downwardly revised reading of 91.9 in November.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 7.15 points, or 0.06 percent, to 11,978.29. The Standard & Poor's 500 index declined 1. 15 points, or 0.09 percent, to 1,295.48 and the Nasdaq was up 3.25 points, or 0.12 percent, to 2,742.75.