US futures edge lower after extraordinary run

(AP) — Stock futures edged lower Thursday following an extraordinary streak for U.S. markets this week.

Dow futures slipped 25 points to 15,037. The broader S&P futures fell 3.9 points to 1,624.80. Nasdaq futures fell 11.25 points to 2,950.50.

U.S. unemployment aid applications fell to 323,000, lowest in more than 5 years, the Labor Department said Thursday. The less-volatile four-week average fell to 336,750, a level not seen since November 2007, before the recession began.

Corporate strength is also leading to renewed confidence in U.S. equities in recent weeks.

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae earned a record $58.7 billion in its first quarter, the company said Thursday.

Tesla Motors posted its first quarterly profit after the market closed Wednesday, and shares soared more than 13 percent in premarket trading Thursday. Shares of Groupon jumped after it did better than Wall Street had expected.

The government on Thursday also releases its March wholesale inventory report and economists expect that surging sales bumped up wholesale inventory levels.

Retailers are also reporting sales numbers for April.

Better corporate and economic data have sent U.S. markets to new heights. The Dow closed above 15,000 for the first time Tuesday and then again on Wednesday.

Associated Press

Authors: provided on tsx today section of eStockMarkets

What is S&P/TSX Composite Index?

S&P/TSX Composite Index

The TSX stock exchange defines an index as a statistical measure of the state of the stock market, based on the performance of certain stocks. The performance of the index is typically viewed as a broad indicator of the direction of the economy. Originally known as the TSE 300 the composite index was created in 1977, with a base level of 1000 as of 1975. Through the years the index consisted of a sample of 300 companies, though the companies that comprised the index varied from year to year. Stocks were dropped when they no longer met exchange requirements for size and liquidity.

Effective May 1st, 2002 the index has been managed by Standard & Poor's Corp. of New York. The name was changed from the TSE 300 to the S&P/TSX Composite Index. Along with the S&P branding came new rules. Tougher criteria for meeting size and liquidity standards were imposed and there is now no fixed number of companies in the index. Since May 2002 the number of companies has dropped from 300 to 212 as of November of 2003.

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