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Stocks climbed modestly on Thursday, clearing initial losses, after better-than-expected earnings from companies including Goodyear Tire & Rubber helped deflect disappointing economic data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed unofficially 63 points higher, the S&P 500 added 10 points and the Nasdaq gained 39 points.
In the morning, stocks had slipped after the Labor Department reported applications for unemployment benefits climbed by 8,000 to 339,000, higher than the 300,000 projected by economists. Separately, the Commerce Department reported retail sales fell 0.4 percent last month from December, versus expectations they would be flat.
But some strong earnings pushed the markets into positive territory later. Goodyear shares rose 11 percent after the tire company's fourth-quarter profit beat Wall Street estimates.