Home Wealth  Money Stocks Up: U.S Data A Silver Lining During Greek Storm

Stocks Up: U.S Data A Silver Lining During Greek Storm

Posted: Jun. 17th, 2011  |  By Forbes

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The markets got a boost Thursday from better readings on jobless claims and housing starts, even in the face of ongoing concerns over Greece's precarious fiscal standing.

First-time filings for unemployment benefits fell by 16,000 in the week ending June 11, to 414,000. Housing starts rose 3.5% in May, to a seasonally adjusted 560,000 units. The reading was an improvement over April's numbers.

In earnings news, grocery store chain Kroger (nyse: KR - news - people ) reported profits that exceeded expectations and the company upped its full year earnings forecast.

Smithfield Foods (nyse: SFD - news - people ) also reported a better than expected profit for its fiscal fourth quarter. Shares of the pork producer are trading up today.

Hewlett Packard (nyse: HPQ - news - people ) has filed a lawsuit against Oracle (nasdaq: ORCL - news - people ), over the continued use of an Intel (nasdaq: INTC - news - people ) chip Itanium. HP is seeking damages as well as an order to stop Oracle from phasing out software that supports the chip.

Capital One Financial (nyse: COF - news - people ) is reportedly in a bid for HSBC (nyse: HBC - news - people )'s U.S. credit card portfolio. The bank and credit card lender also announced a multi-billion dollar deal for ING (nyse: ING - news - people )'s US online bank, ING Direct.

Due on Friday is a reading on consumer sentiment, and the market will also judge Thursday afternoon's weak earnings report from Research in Motion (nasdaq: RIMM - news - people ).

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