US Stocks Higher Early Thursday

(AP) -- Stocks were slightly higher Thursday morning on Wall Street, as the market continues to wobble between gains and losses in this holiday-shortened week.

The S&P 500 index rose 0.2% as of 10 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2% and the Nasdaq composite rose 0.3%. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are on track to end the week lower, the first down week after two previous weeks of gains.

GameStop plunged 11% after the video game retailer reported a worse-than-expected loss for the quarter. The company has been at the center of a battle between a group of online investors and Wall Street hedge funds since late last year, causing the stock to be extremely volatile.

Lululemon rose 10% after the athletic apparel seller's quarterly results came in well above analysts' expectations.

Investors continue to monitor the progress of the economy and what the Federal Reserve plans to do as the economy continues to recover. The Federal Reserve's latest survey of the nation's business conditions, dubbed the "Beige Book," said Wednesday that U.S. economic activity "downshifted" in July and August.

The Fed said the slowdown was largely attributable to a pullback in dining out, travel and tourism in most parts of the country, reflecting concerns about the spread of the highly contagious delta variant.

Fed officials have indicated they expect to dial back on stimulus measures by year's end, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned Congress that she will run out of maneuvering room to prevent the U.S. from breaching the government's borrowing limit in October unless the debt ceiling is raised.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 310,000. At their current pace, weekly applications for benefits are edging toward their pre-pandemic figure of roughly 225,000.

U.S. crude oil prices fell about 1% and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 1.33%.