US stocks higher on positive jobs dataFebruary 24th, 2012 - 2:12 am ICT by IANS
New York, Feb 24 (IANS) US stocks jumped Thursday after a government report showed the jobs market was steadily improving.
According to the US Labor Department, the number of people applying for jobless benefits was unchanged last week at 351,000, the fewest since March 2008, Xinhua reported.
Meanwhile, the four-week average of initial claims, which smoothes week-to-week fluctuations, dropped for the sixth straight week to 359,000, also the lowest level in four years.
The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 was standing above the closely watched 1,360 level, a 10-month high seen as a key resistance point.
However, Hewlett-Packard plunged nearly 5 percent after the world’s biggest computer maker posted a sharp decline in earnings and painted a dismal picture of its outlook, which kept a lid on major indexes.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 47.26 points, or 0.37 percent, at 12,985.93. The Standard & Poor’s 500 added 3.56 points, or 0.26 percent, to 1,361.22. The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 19. 23 points, or 0.66 percent, to 2,952.40.
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Tags: computer maker, decline, dow jones, dow jones industrial, dow jones industrial average, earnings, fluctuations, government report, hewlett packard, indexes, initial claims, jobless benefits, jobs, nasdaq composite index, resistance, s 500, us labor department, xinhua