Stocks Opened Higher After Jobs Data

Stocks opened higher on Thursday after stronger-than-expected employment reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately gained 60.32 points, or 0.48%, to 12,686.34. The S&P 500 rose 10.17 points, up 0.76%, to 1,349.39. The Nasdaq Composite added 21.72 points, or 0.77%, to 2,855.74.

U.S. private employers stepped up hiring in June and the number of Americans filing for jobless benefits fell last week. Payrolls processor ADP said on Thursday private sector employment increased 157,000 after a modest 36,000 gain in May, and beating economists’ expectations for a 68,000 rise.

 A separate report from the Labor Department showed initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 418,000 last week. The decline was more than economists’s expectations for a fall to 420,000.

Oil prices rose to above $97 a barrel Thursday as a report showed U.S. crude supplies fell more than expected for a second week. By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for August delivery was up 64 cents to $97.29 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

International banks, under pressure from European governments to help with another Greek bailout, discussed buying back the country’s bonds in another attempt to stitch together a rescue plan after a French initiative failed.

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