Stocks Close Mostly Flat

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The markets were sluggish Thursday with the key averages alternating between small gains and losses for the session.

While the Nasdaq managed to gain seven points and close at 3,018.64, and the S&P added just a fraction of a point to finish at 1,402.80, the Dow closed down 10 points at 13,165.19.

The number of first-time jobless claims dropped last week by 6,000 -- a sign of modest improvement in hiring. The less volatile four-week average was up, however, by 2,250.

The airline industry is showing some positive signs. More flights are on time and fewer bags are being lost than at any time in more than two decades.  New figures show nearly 84 percent of domestic flights arrived within 15 minutes of their scheduled time in the first half of this year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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