- POSTED: 26 Dec 2013 22:56
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US stocks opened higher on Thursday after a big decline in weekly jobless claims extended the market's record-setting rally.
NEW YORK: US stocks opened higher on Thursday after a big decline in weekly jobless claims extended the market's record-setting rally.
Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 53.36 points (0.33 percent) to 16,410.91.
The broad-based S&P 500 added 4.38 points (0.24 percent) at 1,837.70, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index increased 11.51 points (0.28 percent) to 4,166.93.
US weekly jobless claims fell more than expected for the week ending December 21, the government said.
First-time claims for US unemployment benefits fell 42,000 to 338,000 from an adjusted 380,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said.
Analysts had projected that 350,000 claims would be filed.
Analysts caution that data during the holiday season can be volatile and say week-to-week fluctuations should not be given too much weight.
The decline of 42,000 was the greatest in a weekly report since November 2012.
The four-week moving average, which smooths out weekly movements to a greater extent, came in at 348,000, up from 343,750 last week.
The US unemployment rate was seven percent in November, the lowest level in five years.