TODAY'S TOP STORIES

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wallstreet2-103112_30Oct14.jpg After ending the previous session modestly lower, stocks are turning in a lackluster performance in early trading on Thursday. The major averages have turned mixed on the day, with the Dow benefiting from a strong gain by shares of Visa (V).

Mastercard-MA-103014.jpg MasterCard, Inc. on Thursday reported a 15 percent increase in profit for the third quarter from last year, reflecting double-digit revenue growth as shoppers increasingly used credit and debit cards for payments. Both earnings per share and quarterly revenues topped analysts' expectations.

The-Newyork-Times-NYT-103014.jpg New York Times Co. reported Thursday a net loss for the third quarter that narrowed from last year, which was weighed down by loss from discontinued operations. An increase in circulation revenues failed to offset slumping ad sales. Adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations topped analysts' expectations, while quarterly revenues missed their estimates.

Cardinal-Health-CAH-103014.jpg Healthcare services company Cardinal Health Inc. Thursday reported lower first-quarter profit, amid marginal decline in revenues. However, adjusted earnings, as well as revenues topped analysts' estimates. The company reaffirmed its adjusted earnings outlook for fiscal year 2015.

ConocoPhillips-103014.jpg Energy giant ConocoPhillips on Thursday reported a 9 percent increase in profit for the third quarter from last year, helped by a gain on an asset sale in Nigeria and higher production that helped offset lower revenue amid lower realized prices. Adjusted earnings per share for the quarter topped analysts' expectations, while revenues missed their estimates.

Kelloggs-K-103014.jpg Cereal maker Kellogg Co. reported Thursday a profit for the third quarter that decreased from last year, reflecting a drop in sales of breakfast foods including cereal. Adjusted earnings per share topped analysts' expectations, while quarterly sales missed their estimates. The company also reaffirmed guidance range for the full-year 2014.

GDPChart-103014.jpg U.S. economic activity increased by more than expected in the third quarter of 2014, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday. The Commerce Department said GDP increased by 3.5 percent in the third quarter compared to 3.0 percent growth expected by economists.

Teva-103014.jpg Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA) Thursday reported third-quarter profit that increased from the prior year, despite revenue remaining nearly unchanged. Adjusted earnings topped Wall Street estimates and the firm raised the lower end of its full year earnings per share forecast.

Timcook-103014.jpg Apple CEO Tim Cook has come out as gay. In an op-ed published by Bloomberg Thursday, Cook said his sexuality is "among the greatest gifts God has given me." Cook, who has been leading Apple since just before founder Steve Jobs passed away in 2011, had not publicly acknowledged that he was gay until...

JoblessClaims-103014.jpg First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits saw a modest increase in the week ended October 25th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday. The report said initial jobless claims edged up to 287,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week's revised level of 284,000.

Cigna-103014.jpg Health insurer Cigna Corp. Thursday reported a decline in the third-quarter profit, despite 9 percent growth in revenues. Earnings per share, however, increased from last year. The company lifted its adjusted earnings per share outlook for full year 2014.

wallstreet4-103112_30Oct14.jpg Stocks may move to the downside in early trading on Thursday, adding to the modest losses posted in the previous session. The major index futures are currently pointing to a modestly lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 30 points.

GermanUnemployment-103014.jpg Germany's unemployment declined unexpectedly in October, suggesting an improvement in the labor market conditions despite weak economic developments. The number of people out of work decreased by 22,000 to 2.887 million in October, data from the Federal Labor Agency revealed Thursday. Economists had forecast an increase of 4,000.

EurozoneEconomicConfidence-103014.jpg Economic confidence in the eurozone picked up in October from a 10-month low, with broad based improvement across sectors, the results of a survey by the European Commission showed Thursday. The economic confidence index rose unexpectedly to 100.7 in October from 99.9 in the prior month. The score was expected to fall to 99.7.

TimeWarnerCable-103014.jpg Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC), which is being acquired by Comcast Corp. (CMCSA, CMCSK) in a $45.2 billion deal, Thursday said the third-quarter profit declined from last year, despite a rise in revenues. The company's costs increased during the quarter, and it lost 184,000 video customers.