U.S. stocks teetered between gains and losses Friday, reacting to lower first-time jobless claims in the United States and weak economic news from China.
Initial jobless claims fell by 6,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 361,000, the department said. Economists had forecast that number would rise to 370,000.
Separately, the U.S. Commerce Department said the U.S. trade gap in June fell from the previous month, with imports down and exports up.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 3.14 points, 0.02 percent, to 13,178.78 in early trading.
The Nasdaq was up 4.60 points, 0.15 percent, to 3,015.85.
The Standard & Poor's 500 added 0.16 points, 0.01 percent, to 1,402.41.
Chinese officials reported the country's consumer price index rose 1.8 percent in July in a year-over-year comparison, the slowest increase in 2 ½ years.
The U.S. 10-year treasury note was yielding 1.719 percent in early trading.
Against the euro the dollar was $1.2307 Thursday from $1.2361 Wednesday. Against the yen, the dollar was 78.76 Thursday from 78.44 Wednesday.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei closed at 8,978.60, up 97.44, or 1.10 percent.