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Stocks mixed...Jobless claims tick up...So do mortgage rates

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NEW YORK (AP) — Major U.S. indexes are mixed in early trading on Wall Street following modest losses yesterday. Energy companies are making the biggest gains as the price of oil jumps and companies that pay big dividends are rising as bond yields slip. Technology and industrial companies are taking small losses.

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, but claims remain at a low level consistent with a healthy job market. The Labor Department says 244,000 Americans applied for jobless aid last week, up 6,000 from the previous week. The less volatile four-week average fell by 4,000 to 241,000, the lowest since July 1973. Overall, 2.06 million people are collecting unemployment checks, down 7.7 percent from a year ago.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates have risen slightly this week. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate loans edged up to 4.16 percent from 4.15 percent last week. The benchmark rate stood at 3.62 percent a year ago and averaged 3.65 percent through 2016, the lowest level in records dating to 1971. The rate on 15-year mortgages rose to 3.37 percent from 3.35 percent last week.

CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) — Authorities haven't yet decided how to handle the remaining people at a Dakota Access pipeline protest camp in North Dakota that's been shut down. Most people left peacefully yesterday when authorities closed the camp on federal land. Authorities say tons of debris must be removed so spring floodwaters don't wash it into nearby rivers. The Army Corps of Engineers says the taxpayer-funded cleanup could take about a month and cost as much as $1.2 million.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney says the city's sweetened-beverage tax raised $5.7 million in January, more than double what city officials had projected. Kenney's announcement comes a day after some supermarkets and beverage distributors said they're gearing up for layoffs after seeing beverage sales fall by 30 percent to 50 percent. City officials expect soda sales to rebound once customers get used to the higher prices, and they say talk of layoffs is fear-mongering.

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