Markets Right Now: Stocks closing flat on Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) " The latest on developments in global financial markets (all times local):

4:00 p.m.

U.S. stocks are closing slightly higher Thursday as rising oil prices gave energy companies a lift.

Oil rose $1.43 to $48.22 a barrel in New York. That boosted energy companies: Marathon Oil rose 6.2 percent and Devon Energy rose 3.4 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 24 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,598. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 5 points, or 0.2 percent, at 2,187. The Nasdaq composite rose 11 points, or 0.2 percent, at 5,240.

Wal-Mart rose nearly 2 percent after it reported strong earning and raised its full-year outlook. Cisco Systems fell nearly 1 percent after delivering weak quarterly results and announcing plans to lay off 7 percent of its staff.

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12:00 p.m.

U.S. stocks are trading nearly flat Thursday as investors find little to stir the market out of its summer doldrums.

The Dow Jones industrial average is flat at 18,572. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was 2 points, or 0.1 percent, higher at 2,184. The Nasdaq composite is up 0.2 percent or 11 points at 5,240.

Wal-Mart Stores climbed 1.5 percent after it raised its annual estimates and reporting strong second quarter profit. Cisco Systems fell after the network technology company announced weak quarterly earnings and said it would lay off around 7 percent of its staff.

Yields on the 10-year Treasury are also flat, while energy and precious metals prices are rising.

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10:00 a.m.

U.S. stocks are opening little changed Thursday, with earnings from retail giant Wal-Mart and weekly unemployment data in investors' sights.

The Arkansas-based retailer lifted its earnings outlook and delivered strong second-quarter profit and sales. Wal-Mart shares rose 1.7 percent.

Meanwhile data out today showed fewer people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, a signal that layoffs are scarce and employers are hiring at a solid clip.

The Dow Jones industrial average is down 18 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,556. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was unchanged at 2,182. The Nasdaq composite is also flat at 5,228.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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