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Weekly Market Wrap: April 2, 2015
Thursday, April 2, 3:23 PM ET

The thirteenth full trading week of 2015 comes to a close with the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and NASDAQ composite all higher in early afternoon trading on Thursday.

Most actively traded stocks include Rite Aid (RAD) up 2.15%, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) higher by 0.7%, Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) down 1.3%, and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) down 1.3%.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite are lower in the last five days of trading while the Dow is slightly higher for the period.

Crude oil futures are lower this week, trading at $49.16 per barrel on Thursday afternoon.

And Gold futures are slightly higher this week, trading at $1201.40 an ounce this afternoon.

In economic news, in the week ending March 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 268,000, a decrease of 20,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 6,000 from 282,000 to 288,000. The 4-week moving average was 285,500, a decrease of 14,750 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 3,250 from 297,000 to 300,250.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 295,000 in February, and the unemployment rate edged down to 5.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Job gains occurred in food services and drinking places, professional and business services, construction, health care, and in transportation and warehousing. Employment in mining was down over the month.

Both the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons edged down in February. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 1.2 percentage points and 1.7 million, respectively.

In corporate dividend news, ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG) approved a dividend payment of $0.25 per common share to be paid on June 2, 2015, to stockholders of record at the close of business on April 30, 2015.

Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR) declared a quarterly cash dividend on the Common Stock of Murphy Oil Corporation of $0.35 per share, or $1.40 per share on an annualized basis. The dividend is payable June 1, 2015 to holders of record May 15, 2015.

The TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX) has raised the amount of its quarterly dividend by 20% from the last dividend paid. The Board declared a regular quarterly dividend in the amount of $.21 per share, payable June 4, 2015, to shareholders of record on May 14, 2015.

AT&T (NYSE:T) declared a quarterly dividend of $0.47 a share on the company's common shares. The dividend is payable on May 1, 2015, to stockholders of record at the close of business on April 10, 2015.

SM Energy Company (NYSE:SM) has approved a semi-annual cash dividend of $0.05 per share of common stock outstanding. The dividend will be paid on May 6, 2015, to stockholders of record as of the close of business on April 24, 2015.

This is the 'Weekly Market Wrap' for Thursday, April 2, 2015.

Please join us on Monday for the Week Ahead Market Report.

For MarketNewsVideo.com, I'm Sayoko Murase.

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