Stock Closed with Solid Gains

U.S. stocks climbed Thursday, after a report illustrating the U.S. labor market is healing as 2012 approaches. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 135.63 points, or 1.12%, to 12,287.04. The S&P 500 advanced 13.38 points, or 1.07%, to 1,263.02. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 23.76 points, or 0.92%, to end at 2,613.74.

The number of people who filed requests for jobless benefits rose last week for the first time in a month but remained at a level indicating modest improvement in the U.S. labor market. First-time applications for unemployment compensation climbed 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 381,000 in the week ended Dec. 24, the Labor Department reported.

Crude-oil futures closed higher Thursday as concern about Iran’s recent threat to disrupt shipments through a key shipping channel offset pressure from a pair of supply updates that showed U.S. inventories unexpectedly climbed last week. Crude for February delivery added 29 cents, 0.3%, to settle at $99.65 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Verizon Wireless said on Thursday that it had resolved an “issue” with its high-speed wireless network overnight, after its third widely reported problem in a month.

German phone company Deutsche Telekom AG and a Hungarian unit will pay more than $95 million to settle U.S. criminal and civil probes into the bribery of government officials in Macedonia and Montenegro.

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