Stocks open mixed after unemployment claims rise

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NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are opening mixed, dragged down by disappointing news about unemployment applications and a broad decline in European markets.

The Dow Jones industrial average waffled between slight gains and losses. It was up eight points at 13,098 ten minutes after the opening bell. The Standard & Poor's 500 is down 2 points to 1,389. The Nasdaq composite index, still riding momentum from Apple's strong quarterly earnings this week, is up 4 points at 3,033.

The government reported that the number of people seeking unemployment benefits was little changed last week, stoking more uncertainty about when and if companies will return to pre-recession levels of hiring.

In Europe, most markets slipped following disappointing results from several major companies including Banco Santander and Deutsche Bank.