* U.S. stocks edge up along with MSCI world index
* Facebook shares hit record high
* Russian debt insurance costs rise on EU sanctions
* U.S. homebuilders down after housing data
(Updates with U.S. oil settlement, adds gold)
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, July 24 Global stock markets inched
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
"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
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 homebuilder D.R. Horton,
which also reported results, sank 11.1 percent to $22.05, while
the PHLX Housing Index was down 2.9 percent.
The biggest boost to the S&P 500 came from Facebook,
which shot up 5.5 percent to $75.21 and hit a record of $76.74,
a day after reporting a surge in mobile advertising revenue.
General Motors dropped 3.8 percent to $35.99 after
reporting a much smaller-than-expected quarterly profit.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 5.81 points or
0.03 percent, to 17,092.44, the S&P 500 gained 2.67
points or 0.13 percent, to 1,989.68 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 3.26 points or 0.07 percent, to 4,476.95.
MSCI's All-World Index was up 0.1 percent,
while European stocks ended up 0.5 percent.
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 Malaysia Airlines plane was downed over Ukraine last
week, killing 298, possibly by a missile furnished by Russia.
In the foreign exchange market, the euro fell to an
eight-month low of $1.3448 on the EBS trading system before
rebounding to a session high of $1.34855. The single
currency was last $1.3465, up 0.02 percent from Wednesday's U.S.
Ten-year U.S. Treasuries were down 12/32 in
price to yield 2.507 percent. The yield hit a peak of 2.518
percent, the highest since July 18.
Crude oil prices ran into renewed selling on a weaker demand
outlook in Europe. Brent crude for September delivery
fell 96 cents to $107.07 a barrel. U.S. crude lost $1.05
to settle at $102.07.
Gold hit its lowest level in a month, with spot gold
last down 1.1 percent at $1,289.6 an ounce.
(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, Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)