Wall Street opens mixed after yesterday's sell-off

US stock markets got off to a mixed start on Thursday, following the sharp declines registered yesterday. Jobless claims fell last week but controversy in the White House continues.

Shortly after the open, the Dow was down 0.02% or 3.38 points, at 20,603.55, the S&P 500 was up 0.11%, or 2.48 points, at 2,359.51 as was the Nasdaq, which was trading 0.33% higher at 6,031.11.

RISERS AND FALLERS

Cisco was the standout faller on the Dow, with its shares off by a massive 8%, while Wal-Mart, Apple and Goldman Sachs recouped some of yesterday's losses, with all stocks up by over 1%.

COMMODITIES

At 2:40pm (GMT), WTI crude was 0.96% lower at $48.6 per barrel, Brent was down 0.86% at $51.76 per barrel and gold was softer and trading at $1,258.5 per ounce.

ECONOMIC NEWS

US initial claims in the week ending May 13 was 232k, a decrease of 4k from the previous week's unrevised level, the US Department of Labor said today.

Activity picked up in May, according to the firms responding to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's latest manufacturing business outlook survey.

The index for current manufacturing activity in the region increased from a reading of 22.0 in April to 38.8 in May.

The monthly reading of the Conference Board Leading Economic Index is also due later today.