Stock Market Today: Dow Jones, S&P 500 Flat on Barrage of Earnings

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. benchmark stock indices were little changed Thursday -- the S&P 500 slightly higher, the Dow Jones Industrial Average inching lower -- on a day packed with earnings reports.

The U.S. jobless claims report was a positive for markets after initial jobless claims for the week of July 19 fell by 19,000 to a smaller-than-expected 284,000, its lowest level since Feb. 18, 2006

The Dow was down 0.03% to 17,081.13. The S&P 500 was gaining 0.03% to 1,987.52. The Nasdaq was slipping 0.03% to 4,472.4. U.S. stocks closed mixed Wednesday , with the S&P 500 logging its 71st closing all-time high for this bull market since the market bottom on March 9, 2009.

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"The market continues to remind investors that the trend remains their friend, as it focuses on earnings growth while shrugging off global hostility concerns and the downward revision to second-quarter GDP growth estimates from above 3.5% to below 3% currently," wrote Sam Stovall, managing director of U.S. equity research at S&P Capital IQ.

Stovall noted that the market may be giving investors encouragement that modest growth will likely keep inflation in check and the Federal Reserve on hold as far as rates are concerned.

S&P Capital IQ estimated that second-quarter S&P 500 earnings growth should to come in at 7.3% year-over-year, with earnings per share of $28.89. That's up from its prior day estimate of 7% growth with EPS of $28.80.

Thursday is another busy day for corporate earnings. Social network Facebook was one of the heaviest traded stocks of the day after reporting sharply higher second-quarter earnings on increasing revenue from mobile advertising. Shares of Facebook were surging nearly 7% to $76.15.

AT&T said second-quarter earnings fell as customers moved to cheaper cellphone plans, while chipmaker Qualcomm , down 6.8% to $76.02, said fiscal third-quarter net income rose 42%, topping expectations, but guidance for the fourth quarter came in below forecasts.

Ford  was inching 0.11% lower to $17.76 after reporting second-quarter earnings on Thursday of 32 cents share, up from 30 cents a year earlier.  General Motors   missed by a penny with earnings per share of 58 cents, as the auto giant continues to deal with the financial fallout of its massive recalls.

Caterpillar reported second-quarter earnings that topped estimates by 17 cents at $1.69 a share, but disappointed on sales expectations as its China results came in soft. Shares were tumbling 3.4% to $104.66.

D.R. Horton was sliding 11.6% to $21.93 after third-quarter earnings of 32 cents a share missed estimates of 49 cents a share.

Amazon.com , the online retailing giant, is expected by analysts on Thursday to report a second-quarter loss of 15 cents a share on revenue of $19.34 billion when it reports after the bell.