Stocks pulled back on Thursday, trimming a week of gains as oil futures fell and a mixed slate of economic data didn't offer any clear direction ahead of next week's Federal Reserve interest-rate meeting. Verizon ( VZ ) led declines on the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average after reporting revenue that fell short of expectations. That dragged down the S&P 500's telecommunications services sector, which posted a 2.9% fall near the close.
Initial unemployment claims fell to a 42-year low of 247,000 last week but the Philadelphia Fed business outlook index fell to negative 1.6 reading in April from positive 12.4 in March, missing expectations for a small decline to a positive 9 reading. Housing prices improved slightly while the Chicago Fed national activity index contracted to negative 0.44 in March from a downward revised negative 0.38 the prior month.
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