NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are edging mostly lower Thursday morning, led by declines in consumer stocks after Wal-Mart reported disappointing results and cut its sales projections. The market is coming off a three-day rally, its longest so far this year. The price of crude oil continued to recover.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 39 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,493 as of 10:30 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down less than a point at 1,926. The Nasdaq composite fell 8 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,525.
The S&P 500 is up more than 5 percent over the last three days, with banks and consumer stocks making the biggest gains. Over those three days the index erased about half the losses it has taken this year.
SALES STUMBLE: Wal-Mart said its profit slipped in the fourth quarter as its sales came in weaker than analysts expected. The retailer now says its revenue in 2016 will be about the same as in 2015. The company had expected growth of 2 to 4 percent.
Wal-Mart is struggling with competition from online giant Amazon and other retailers, and in January the company said it would close 269 stores. Its shares are down 27 percent over the last year.
The stock lost $2.87, or 4.3 percent, to $63.24. Competitor Kroger shed 2.6 percent to $38.38 and Whole Foods fell 3.3 percent, to $30.72.
CRUDE CLIMBS: Oil prices continued to rise as major oil producing nations continued to talk about a deal that could limit production. At least six OPEC nations, including Saudi Arabia, have backed a plan to keep oil production at January's levels so it won't increase any further. That would help address a giant supply glut and strengthen prices, which have fallen to their lowest level in about 13 years.
Iran, which has not agreed to the deal and has said it wants to keep increasing its production, said it supports any measure to raise oil prices. Investors saw that as a good sign. The deal won't go into effect unless all 13 OPEC members agree to it.
U.S. crude gained 93 cents, or 3 percent, to $31.59 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, added 89 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $35.39 a barrel in London. U.S. oil has surged 16 percent since Thursday.
UNEMPLOYMENT: Weekly applications for unemployment benefits declined last week to a three-month low, a sign that hiring has remained solid despite big swings in the market. It's the latest sign that the economy is still growing and consumers are still spending even though the market has been turbulent.
BIG BLUE BOUNCE: IBM climbed after the company said it will buy Truven Health analytics for $2.6 billion, expanding the health care capabilities of its Watson cognitive computing system. IBM rose $7.32, or 5.8 percent, to $133.42 and kept the Dow positive by a small amount.
ANOTHER DEAL: Logistics company Ingram Micro surged $6.59, or 22.2 percent, to $36.24 after it agreed to be bought by Chinese shipping company Tianjin Tianhai. The deal values Ingram at about $6 billion, or $38.90 per share
CHANNEL CHANGED: Discovery Communications, the operator of TV channels like TLC and Animal Planet, stumbled after it posted disappointing profit and revenue in the fourth quarter. The stock fell $1.22, or 4.6 percent, to $25.49.
CHIPPING IN: Nvidia, a company that makes graphics chips and processors for phones and tablets, rose after it reported a stronger quarter than analysts had expected. The stock gained $2.53, or 9.2 percent, to $30.19.
OVERSEAS: Germany's DAX rose 1.2 percent and France's CAC 40 added 0.6 percent, but Britain's FTSE 100 slipped 0.9 percent. Asian stock markets rose. Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 2.3 percent and South Korea's Kospi rose 1.3 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng surged 2.3 percent.
BONDS, CURRENCIES: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.79 percent from 1.82 percent. The euro fell to $1.1087 from $1.1139. The dollar made a small gain to 113.79 yen from 113.77 yen.