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Stocks mixed...Wal-Mart sales slump...Jobless claims jump...Housing starts fall

Thursday - 5/16/2013, 11:39am  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are mixed in early trading on Wall Street. Wal-Mart is leading the Dow Jones industrial average lower after reporting earnings that disappointed investors. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 index closed at all-time highs yesterday.

NEW YORK (AP) -- The world's largest retailer is struggling with a sales slump. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is reporting a slim 1.1 percent increase in first-quarter profit, amid a 1.4 percent drop in revenue at stores open at least a year at its namesake business. The results fell short of Wall Street expectations. The company also offered a profit outlook that was below analysts' expectations.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid has jumped by 32,000, to a seasonally adjusted 360,000. That's the most since late March. Last week's jump comes after applications fell to a five-year low the previous week. The Labor Department says the less volatile four-week average rose just 1,250 to 339,250, a level consistent with modest hiring.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. builders broke ground on far fewer homes in April, one month after topping the 1 million mark for the first time since 2008. The Commerce Department says housing starts fell 16.5 percent from the March pace. But applications for new construction rose more than 14 percent to a rate of 1.02 million, the highest since June 2008.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- There's still no sign of inflation. The Labor Department says consumer prices fell last month by the most since December 2008. The consumer price index was down 0.4 percent, mainly due to an 8.1 percent drop in gas prices. Outside the drop in fuel costs, prices were largely unchanged.

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