Dow rises slightly, other indexes are mixed
Stocks wobbled Thursday as investors changed course and tempered their expectations for faster economic growth. Industrial companies, which have surged over the last few months, finished lower as Wall Street focused on gold, bonds and companies that pay big dividends. The Dow Jones industrial average added 34.72 points, or 0.2 percent, to 20,810.32. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.99 points to 2,363.81. The Nasdaq composite lost 25.12 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,835.51. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks slid 9.23 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,394.62.
FOOD AND DRINK
Taco Bell pulling chicken-shell chalupa
A Taco Bell treat that has a shell made entirely of fried chicken will vanish from the fast food chain’s menu despite its popularity. Taco Bell spokesman Rob Poetsch said the Naked Chicken Chalupa always was planned as a limited-time offer, but it has proved to be popular and exceeded the company’s expectations. A date for the end of its run hasn’t been announced.
Kohl’s quarterly sales, profit falls in Q4
Kohl’s Corp. on Thursday reported declining sales and earnings in the fourth quarter and predicted tepid results for 2017. The Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based retailer made official what it had signaled last month: Sales fell 2.8 percent in the three months ended Jan. 28. Profit dropped by 15 percent. The hard times besetting Kohl’s and other department store chains show no signs of easing. Kohl’s said it expects 2017 sales to decline as much as 1.3 percent from last year’s level.
Claims for U.S. jobless benefits tick higher
More Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, but claims remained at a low level consistent with a healthy job market. The Labor Department said Thursday that 244,000 Americans applied for jobless aid last week, up by 6,000 from the previous week. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell by 4,000 to 241,000, lowest since July 1973. Overall, 2.06 million people are collecting unemployment checks, down 7.7 percent from a year ago. Unemployment claims have come in below 300,000 a week for 103 straight weeks, the longest such streak since 1970.