After moving in opposite directions early in the session, stocks continue to turn in a mixed performance in mid-day trading on Thursday. While the Dow has risen to a nearly three-month intraday high, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 have pulled back into negative territory.

Currently, the major averages remain on opposite sides of the unchanged line. The Dow is up 128.38 points or 0.5 percent at 25,274.77, but the Nasdaq is down 51.32 points or 0.7 percent at 7,637.93 and the S&P 500 is down 1.44 points or 0.1 percent at 2,770.91.

The advance by the Dow is partly due to a sharp jump by shares of McDonald's (MCD), which are surging up by 3.4 percent.

The gain by McDonald's (MCD) comes after a report from the Wall Street Journal said the fast food giant is planning a fresh round of layoffs to further shrink its corporate structure.

Notable gains by Chevron (CVX), Procter & Gamble (PG) and Goldman Sachs (GS) are also contributing to the upward move by the Dow.

Meanwhile, the pullback by the Nasdaq may partly be due to profit taking after the tech-heavy index rose to new record highs in recent sessions.

On the U.S. economic front, the Labor Department released a report showing a modest decrease in initial jobless claims in the week ended June 2nd.

The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 222,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week's revised level of 223,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 225,000 from the 221,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Late in the trading day, the Federal Reserve is due to release its report on consumer credit in the month of April. Consumer credit is expected to increase by $13.8 billion.

Sector News

Energy stocks continue to see considerable strength on the day amid a sharp increase by the price of crude oil. Crude for July delivery is jumping $1.17 to $65.90 a barrel.

Reflecting the strength in the energy sector, the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index is up by 2.8 percent, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is up by 2.7 percent and the NYSE Arca Oil Index is up by 1.8 percent.

On the other hand, steel stocks have moved sharply lower over the course of the session, dragging the NYSE Arca Steel Index down by 2.4 percent.

Computer hardware and semiconductor stocks have also moved to the downside, contributing to the pullback by the Nasdaq.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Thursday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 0.9 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed by 0.8 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved modestly lower on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index both dipped by 0.2 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are seeing modest strength following the notable pullback seen in the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.4 basis points at 2.961 percent.

by P2PNews Staff Writer

Market AnalysisBB

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