By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were little changed in early trading on Thursday following two days of losses on the benchmark S&P 500, supported by strong labor market data on a busy day for corporate earnings.
Alibaba Group shares <BABA.N> dropped 9.6 percent to $ 88.90 after the company’s revenue missed Wall Street expectations. The decline took shares of Yahoo <YHOO.O>, which said recently it will spin off its Alibaba stake, down 8.2 percent to $ 42.66.
“Alibaba is growing more slowly than thought, and it’s a stock a lot of people want to own,” said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.
She said “the growth story of China is called into question” by the Alibaba results.
Equity futures were earlier weighed down by earnings, but then recovered steeply after data showed weekly applications for unemployment insurance fell to their lowest in almost 15 years, adding to bullish signals on the labor market.
Forrest said the number was surprisingly strong in the face of expected layoffs from energy companies as investment in shale exploration shrivels with the price of oil.
At 10:11 a.m. (1511 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 28.45 points, or 0.17 percent, to 17,219.82, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 2.27 points, or 0.11 percent, to 1,999.89 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 13.37 points, or 0.29 percent, to 4,624.63.
Qualcomm <QCOM.O> weighed the most on the Nasdaq 100 <.NDX> with a 9.4 percent drop to $ 64.31 after it trimmed its outlook for 2015, saying it expects its newest mobile chip will not be used in a major customer’s flagship smartphone.
Coach Inc <COH.N> shares rose 8.9 percent to $ 39.70 after the handbag maker posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,422 to 1,346, for a 1.06-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,251 issues fell and 1,095 advanced for a 1.14-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 8 new 52-week highs and 21 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 18 new highs and 57 new lows.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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