The Dow Jones industrial average rose 50 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 17,242 as of 11:57 a.m. Thursday. The Standard & Poor's 500 eased one point, or 0.06 per cent, to 2,000. The Nasdaq slipped 10 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 4,627.
Energy stocks fell the most among the 10 sectors in the S&P 500 index. The sector is down 7 per cent this year, more than any other. Benchmark U.S. crude dipped 55 cents to $43.90 a barrel. As recently as June, it traded above $100
The government reported Thursday that weekly claims for unemployment benefits dropped to a 15-year low.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged up to 1.75 per cent.