April 15th, 2010
07:45 PM ET

Stocks end on positive note, dollar rises

A look at highlights from the day's business news:

Stocks hang on to gains

Stocks ended positive Thursday to close a volatile session, as investors took the latest jobless claims report in stride and Google reported much better-than-expected earnings after the closing bell.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 21 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 11,144.57. The S&P 500 index gained 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to end at 1,211.67. The Nasdaq composite was up 11 points, or 0.4 percent, to end at 2,515.69.

Stocks had sold off earlier in the session after the jobless claims report, which showed a surprise surge for the second week in a row. But the Labor Department attributed the jump to "technical" issues, including the Easter holiday. The indexes churned throughout the day.

Dollar buoyed by Greece jitters

The dollar rose against the euro Thursday on renewed concerns about the fiscal meltdown in Greece and a surprise jump in U.S. jobless claims.

What prices are doing: The dollar was up 0.6 percent versus the euro at $1.3573. The greenback fell 0.2 percent against the U.K. pound at $1.5495 and slipped 0.2 percent versus the yen to ¥93.06

What's moving the market: The dollar remained firm after the government said the number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits rose last week.

Oil prices pare gains

Oil prices fell Thursday amid choppy trading, as investors sought direction after the government's disappointing initial jobless claims report and the dollar strengthened.

What prices are doing: The price of crude oil for May delivery fell 33 cents to settle at $85.51 a barrel.

Prices soared 2 percent Wednesday after the government reported the first drawdown on crude supplies in 10 weeks and a round of economic data showed strong improvement in retail sales and low inflation.

May contracts expire April 20. Trading volume in crude for June delivery is picking up. Prices for that contract settled down 2 cents at $86.72 a barrel.

What's moving the market: Crude prices seesawed within a tight range on Thursday, as traders sought direction after the government's disappointing weekly initial claims report.

Treasurys play 'tug-of-war'

Treasurys were mixed Thursday as generally upbeat news from company earnings and economic reports put slight pressure on long-term U.S. debt, but concerns about Greece kept demand strong.

What prices are doing: Long-term securities including the 10-year and 30-year fell Thursday, while shorter term notes rose.

The benchmark 10-year note fell 2/32 to 98, driving the yield up to 3.87%. The 30-year bond fell 5/32 to 98-5/32, and its yield rose to 4.74 percent.

Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

The 2-year note rose 9/32 to 99-30/32 with a 1.05 percent yield. The 5-year note rose 2/32 to 99-19/32 with a yield of 2.6 percent.

What's moving the market: Economic releases and earnings reports that beat Wall Street's expectations are painting a rosier picture of an economic recovery this week, which puts pressure on Treasury prices as investors shy away from "safe-haven" bets.

CNNMoney.com reporters Annalyn Censky, Chavon Sutton, Ben Rooney and Julianne Pepitone contributed to this report.

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