Stocks edge higher…Jobless claims jump…Iowa drug maker working on Ebola vaccine

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market is slightly higher in early trading following a mixed batch of corporate news. Kohl’s shares are higher after the retailer’s flat profit report beat expectations. Keurig Green Mountain is up after saying it plans to raise prices, while Cisco is down after last night’s announcement that it will lay off up to 8 percent of its workforce. The Dow, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq have all been in positive territory since the open, but not by much.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Applications for unemployment benefits shot up last week. The Labor Department says weekly jobless claims climbed 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 311,000. However, The less-volatile four-week average rose just 2,000 to 295,750. That continues to be close to averages before the start of the Great Recession in late 2007.

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Europe’s shaky economic recovery has ground to a halt. The European Union’s statistics office say economic growth in the 18-country eurozone was zero in the second quarter. Europe’s biggest economy, Germany, saw a decline of 0.2 percent, while France, Europe’s second biggest, had a second straight quarter of zero growth. Economists say fears the Ukraine crisis may escalate are making companies hesitate to invest and consumers to postpone spending.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Wal-Mart has cut its annual profit outlook. The world’s largest retailer reports a slight 0.6 percent increase in second-quarter profit, while a key revenue measure was flat in its U.S. discount business, after falling for five straight quarters. The company also reports another decline in traffic at its U.S. Wal-Mart stores. That’s the seventh straight quarter that Wal-Mart has seen fewer shoppers.

UNDATED (AP) — An Iowa drug developer says it has enough doses of a possible vaccine for the deadly Ebola virus to launch an initial round of human testing. NewLink Genetics says the vaccine has been 100 percent effective in preventing deadly Ebola infections in non-human primates, and it acts quickly enough to show effectiveness in animals that received a typically lethal dose of the virus. The maker of an experimental Ebola drug called ZMapp say it has sent its last doses to Liberia and it will take months to build up a new supply.

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