US stocks were little changed on Thursday as investors sank their teeth into a slew of earnings and data showing that jobless claims fell to their lowest level since 1973.
At 1530 BST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.1%, the S&P 500
was up 0.1% and the Nasdaq was 0.4% higher.
"Both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones are trading beneath record highs but the badly received results from Apple, coupled with the rout in commodities is hampering the possibility of a break out," said Jasper Lawler, market analyst at CMC Markets.
"That said, there is a slight recovery in the gold price today and a second set of conditions for a Greek bailout have been approved by the government in Athens. This backdrop alongside better corporate results on Thursday could be enough to spark a bigger turnaround."
US initial jobless claims fell by 26,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 255,000 in the week ended 18 July, hitting their lowest level since November 1973, according to data released by the Labor Department.
The figures beat analysts' expectations for a dip to 280,000 while claims for the previous week were unrevised at 281,000.
Meanwhile, the number of continuing unemployment benefit claims fell by 9,000 to 2,207,000 in the week ended 11 July.
Caterpillar falls but Under Armour surges
Shares in construction and mining equipment manufacturer Caterpillar fell after it reported a drop in profits and revenue during the second quarter. It said earnings per share declined to $1.16 from $1.57 in 2014. Excluding restructuring costs, earnings were $1.27, down from $1.69 last year.
American Express dropped into the red after its second-quarter numbers, released after the close on Wednesday, failed to impress. The company's earnings per share of $1.42 were better than expected but revenue fell shy of estimates.
On the upside, though, 3M was in the black after it posted a better-than-expected second-quarter profit but missed on revenue and lowered its full-year forecasts.
Shares in Under Armour rocketed after the athletic clothing brand's second-quarter profit and revenue came in stronger than forecast.
General Motors was also on the front foot after well-received second-quarter earnings, It posted adjusted earning per share of $1.29.
McDonald's nudged a little higher after its adjusted earnings per share and revenue came in a touch better than analysts had anticipated.
Elsewhere, the dollar
slipped against the euro, but gained ground against the yen and the pound, while gold futures for August delivery were up 0.4% at $1,096.
Oil prices pushed higher, with West Texas Intermediate up 0.5% at $49.44 a barrel, while Brent rose 0.1% to $56.2o a barrel.