Stocks close mixed as oil crosses $106

Associated Press
Trader Jonathan Niles encounters a Budweiser Clydesdale on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange, that was part of opening bell ceremonies  in observance of Major League Baseball's opening day, Thursday, March 31, 2011. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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Trader Jonathan Niles encounters a Budweiser Clydesdale on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange, …

Stocks are ending the day mixed as the price of oil jumped to a 30-month high.

Reports on unemployment claims and factory orders also weighed on stocks Thursday. The government said fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week. But analysts expected a larger drop.

Oil surged to $106.72 a barrel after troops loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi retook control of an oil port. Oil prices have jumped $20 since the uprising began in February.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 31 points, or 0.3 percent, to 12,320. The S&P 500 index fell 2, or 0.2 percent, to 1,326. The Nasdaq rose 4, or 0.2 percent, to 2,781.

Roughly three shares rose for every two that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Trading volume was 3.9 billion shares.

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