Stocks opened little changed on Thursday as investors digested a slew of quarterly results, including a brighter outlook and a forecast-beating profit from 3M Co and disappointing results from McDonald's Corp ahead of key housing market data.

Earlier on Thursday, U.S. government data showed claims for jobless benefits rose in the previous week roughly in line with expectations, while continuing claims edged lower.

The National Association of Realtors is scheduled to post existing home sales for June at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT), with a forecast of 4.84 million annualized unit total versus 4.77 million annualized units in May.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 10.43 points, or 0.12 percent, to 8,891.69. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 1.70 points, or 0.18 percent, to 955.77. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 2.80 points, or 0.15 percent, to 1,929.18.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)