Stocks turn slightly higher early Thursday after weekly jobless claims, final earnings reports, and rising China tensions

Wall Street Sign by South Bend Voice is licensed under Flickr CC BY 2.0
U.S. stocks were lower midday Thursday as investors digested a fresh round of corporate results and economic data, including a report that showed another 2.44 million Americans filed for first-time jobless claims on an adjusted basis. 

Market participants were also digesting a fresh spurt of hawkishness from the White House on China.

How are benchmarks faring? 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.11% traded about 79 points, 0.3%, lower, near 24,497, while the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.46% was about 18 points, or 0.6%, lower at 2,953. The Nasdaq COMP, -0.47% fell about 67 points or 0.7% to trade near 9,308.

On Wednesday, the Dow rallied 369.04 points, or 1.5%, to finish at 24,575.90. The S&P 500 SPX, -0.46% climbed 48.67 points, or 1.7%, to end at 2,971.61, its highest close since March 6, according to Dow Jones Market Data. The Nasdaq Composite rose 190.67 points, or 2.1%, closing at 9,375.78.