GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks gain, U.S. bonds fall on jobless data, results

Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:06pm EDT

* U.S. stocks edge up along with MSCI world index

* Facebook shares hit record high

* Russian debt insurance costs rise on EU sanctions

* US homebuilders down after housing data (Adds homebuilder shares and other details, updates trading)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, July 24 (Reuters) - Global stock markets edged higher while U.S. debt prices fell on Thursday following unexpectedly low U.S. weekly jobless claims and stronger-than-expected U.S. earnings.

The benchmark S&P 500 index hit a record high for a third straight day, buoyed by data showing initial jobless claims in the world's largest economy dropped to their lowest in more than eight years.

The biggest boost to the index came from Facebook, which shot up 6.8 percent to $76.17 and hit a record of $76.74, a day after reporting a surge in mobile advertising revenue.

"The lower-than-expected U.S. initial jobless claims has made people focus on the improving labor market situation," said Ian Lyngen, senior government bond strategist, at CRT Capital in Stamford, Connecticut.

But data showing sales of new U.S. single-family homes fell by the biggest amount since July 2013 offset some of the positive news. The stock of home builder D.R. Horton, which also reported results, sank 9.3 percent to $22.50, while the PHLX Housing Index was down 2.1 percent.

General Motors dropped 3.3 percent to $36.17 after reporting a much smaller-than-expected quarterly profit.

Other data showed the services sector across the 18-member euro zone performed better than any of the 39 economists polled by Reuters had forecast.

Russian debt insurance costs rose after European Union leaders proposed sanctions on Russian banks which are majority-owned by the government. Those measures were proposed after a Malaysian Airlines plane was downed over Ukraine last week, killing 298, by a missile likely furnished by Russia.

MSCI's All-World Index was up 0.2 percent, while European stocks .FTEU3 were up 0.5 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 12.07 points or 0.07 percent, to 17,098.7, the S&P 500 gained 3.53 points or 0.18 percent, to 1,990.54 and the Nasdaq Composite added 8.66 points or 0.19 percent, to 4,482.36.

A better-than-expected U.S. earnings season is helping sentiment. So far this earnings period, 68.5 percent of earnings reports have beat analysts' expectations.

Drugmakers Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly beat Wall Street expectations, along with Ford.

In the foreign exchange market, the euro fell to an eight-month low of $1.3448 in early European trading on the EBS trading system before rebounding to a session high of $1.34855 . The single currency was last $1.3471, up 0.05 percent from Wednesday's U.S. close.

Ten-year U.S. Treasuries were down 13/32 in price to yield 2.508 percent. The yield hit a peak of 2.518 percent, the highest since July 18.

Crude oil prices ran into renewed selling after a bounce on Wednesday. Brent crude for September delivery fell 66 cents to $107.37 a barrel. U.S. crude lost 48 cents to $102.64. (Additional reporting by Carolyn Cohn, Marc Jones and Anirban Nag in London, Wayne Cole in Sydney, Richard Leong, Rodrigo Campos and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss in New York; Editing by James Dalgleish and Bernadette Baum)