U.S. Stocks Modestly Higher in Light Pre-Holiday Trade; Salesforce.com Earnings in Focus

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U.S. stocks have essentially moved just above water all session, in light trading, as market participants begin to prepare for the impending Thanksgiving holiday. Stocks opened up and are currently holding modest gains after the Labor Department reported that jobless claims from last week were slightly lower than forecast. Economists polled by MarketWatch forecast jobless claims would come in at 418,000: the actual measure was 410,000 for the week ending Nov. 17th.

Claims in the previous week were revised up to an increase of 90,000 to 451,000 compared with the initial estimate that they rose 78,000 to 439,000. The four-week average rose 9,500 to 396,250. Economists expect claims will continue to pour in for several more weeks in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Investors shrugged off news that euro-zone finance ministers and IMF officials were unable to reach an agreement on the release of the next tranche of aid for Greece. Officials will meet again on Monday to try and hash out a deal.

The final reading of the November Michigan consumer sentiment index came in at 82.7, up marginally from 82.6 the month before, but down from a preliminary reading of 84.9 released earlier in the month, and below the median forecast of 84.5 among economists polled by Reuters.

In individual stock news of note, Salesforce.com ( CRM ) shares are currently sporting a gain of 8% after the company posted earnings of $0.33 per share, ex items, with sales of $788.4 million.



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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

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