US stocks wavered in early trade on Thursday following weaker-than-expected reports on durable goods orders and consumer spending.
The S&P 500 Index declined 0.71 points, or 0.05 percent, to trade at 1,258.20 at 9:55 a.m. EDT. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 10.64 points, or 0.09 percent, to trade at 11,570.13. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.08 percent.
New orders for manufactured durable goods in November fell by $2.6 billion or 1.3 percent to $193.7 billion. The higher-than-expected drop in the orders for manufactured goods was driven by transportation-equipment orders, which were down $6.2 billion or 11.9 percent to $45.5 billion.
Personal spending rose 0.4 percent in November compared to 0.7 percent growth in the previous month and against analysts' estimation of 0.5 percent, while personal income rose 0.3 percent to $42.3 billion and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) rose 0.4 percent to $43.3 billion in November.
The Department of Labor reported that initial jobless claims declined by 3,000 to 420,000 for the week ended December 18 from the previous week's revised figure of 423,000, while economists expected 424,000. The 4-week moving average of initial claims increased 2,500 to 426,000 from the previous week's revised average of 423,500.
On the corporate front, Bed Bath & Beyond, Inc. shares advanced 5.94 percent as the company’s third quarter profit rose to $188.6 million or 74 cents a share, up from $151.3 million or 58 cents a share last year. Sales rose 11.1 percent to $2.2 billion.
Shares of Sonic Solutions surged 26.73 percent after Rovi Corp. said it agreed to buy Sonic Solutions in a stock and cash transaction having an enterprise value of about $720 million.
Verigy, Ltd. gained 8.08 percent after the company said it received a revised takeover proposal of $15.00 a share in cash from Advantest Corp.
The euro declined 0.24 percent to 1.3068 against the dollar and the yen gained 0.61 percent against the greenback.
Crude oil futures advanced 0.12 percent to $90.59/barrel and gold futures declined 0.82 percent.
European stock markets are currently trading mixed with FTSE 100 up by 5.32 points, DAX30 down by 4.63 points and CAC 40 down by 15.06 points.