U.S. stocks declined for a second day, pushing the Nasdaq Composite Index into the loss column for the week, as disappointing economic data and unease over Europe offset positive corporate results. Ken Meyers has your market report on Thursday's Acadiana Business Index.



  • In Europe, Spanish and Italian bonds declined after Italy said costs related to servicing its debt would escalate this year and as yields rose at French and Spanish auctions.
  • U.S. economic reports painted a mixed picture. An April gauge of manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region came in below expectations, as did first-time jobless claims.
  • The Conference Board's Index of U.S. leading indicators climbed for a sixth month in March, signaling economic expansion.
  • Microsoft reported quarterly earnings that were slightly lower than a year ago but beat Wall Street's expectations. Shares rose in extended-hours trading.
  • Light, sweet crude settled at $103 a barrel.
  • Gold closed at $1642 an ounce.