Flat open even as jobless claims fall

The markets opened flat with the Dow easing 2 points to 16,904 even as jobless claims fell more than expected. Nasdaq slipped 5 points to 4,357.

On the upside

BlackBerry (Nasdaq: BBRY) reversed year ago losses to post an unexpected profit for the first quarter.

StemCells (Nasdaq: STEM) reported positive interim data from a PhaseI/II clinical trial of its age-related macular degeneration treatment HuCNS-SC.

Measurement Specialties (Nasdaq: MEAS) will be acquired by TE Connectivity (NYSE: TEL) in a deal valued at approximately $1.7 billion including the assumption of debt.

On the downside

KBR (NYSE: KBR) fell to an unexpected loss for the first quarter and will conduct a strategic review.

Pier 1 Imports (NYSE: PIR) disappointed with lower first quarter earnings that missed expectations and cut its full year earnings forecast.

MD Anderson Cancer Center criticized Northwest Biotherapeutics (NYSE: NWBO) for issuing press releases containing unjustified claims about its cancer vaccine DCVax-Direct.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 2 on the NYSE while decliners edged out advancers by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 held steady at 1956. Bitcoin eased $0.94 or 0.16% to $602.50.

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