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Jobless claims cause market to flatline

Oct. 12, 2012 @ 12:28 AM

NEW YORK -- The market closed roughly flat Thursday, underwhelmed by encouraging jobs news but unrattled by worrisome developments in the global economy.

In the morning, a government report of fewer jobless claims carried the market higher. The Dow Jones industrial average rose as much as 83 points, shrugging off a widening U.S. trade deficit, higher unemployment in Greece and a ratings cut for Spain.

By late afternoon, the rally sputtered, and the Dow wavered between small gains and losses. It closed slightly down, along with the Nasdaq composite index, while the Standard & Poor's 500 eked out the tiniest gain.

Traders, it seemed, were so used to bad news that Thursday's developments didn't really push them one way or the other.

"There's not a lot to move the market today," said Erik Davidson, deputy chief investment officer of Wells Fargo Private Bank in San Francisco. "Everyone's talking about baseball."

The Dow finished down 18.58 points to 13,326.39. The S&P 500 inched up 0.28 point to 1,432.84. The Nasdaq fell 2.37 points to 3,049.41.

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