Stocks edged higher on Thursday as investors weighed a new round of earnings reports along with employment and housing market data. AT&T posted better-than-expected 2Q results, reflecting strong growth in wireless subscribers, and raised its full-year guidance. Texas Instruments also topped consensus estimates, though the shares fell 5% on a lower-than-expected 3Q sales forecast. On the housing front, the National Association of Realtors said that sales of existing homes rose 1.4% to an annualized 5.86 million units in June, slightly below the consensus forecast. First-time jobless claims rose to 419,000, up from the prior week and above consensus. Continuing claims fell by 29,000 to 3.236 million. The Dow rose 0.07%, the S&P 0.20%, and the Nasdaq 0.36%. Crude oil rose 2% to $71.50 per barrel, while gold rose $4 to $1808 per ounce.
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