Stock Opened Mildly Higher after Jobless, Trade Data

U.S. stocks opened higher on Thursday, rebounded from the worst plunge in the Dow Jones index this year, with the government reporting that record exports of U.S. goods narrowed the country’s trade deficit and stronger-than-expected U.S. job market data . The Dow industrials lately added 39.48 points, or 0.31%, to 12,972.21. The S&P 500 index rose 4.61 points, or 0.33%, to  1,399.14. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 10.44 points, or 0.36%, to 2,947.73.

The U.S. trade deficit declined to the lowest level in almost two years as exports rose to a record high, a gain that is not expected to last given the global economic slowdown. The trade deficit narrowed to $41.5 billion in September, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That is 5.1 percent below the August deficit and the smallest imbalance since December 2010.

A separate report showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, suggesting the labor market’s slow recovery was gaining traction although Superstorm Sandy roiled the data. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 355,000, the Labor Department said. That was below the median forecast in a Reuters poll of 370,000.

Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S3 became the world’s best-selling smartphone model last quarter, pushing aside Apple Inc’s iPhone, which has dominated the chart for more than two years, research firm Strategy Analytics said on Thursday. Strategy Analytics estimated Samsung sold 18 million S3 models in the third quarter, compared with iPhone 4S sales of 16.2 million.

JPMorgan Chase & Co said U.S. regulators have approved a plan for the bank to use its capital to buy back as much as $3 billion of its stock in the first quarter of 2013.

Swiss bank UBS’s (UBSN.VX) German subsidiary is being investigated by local prosecutors for allegedly abetting tax fraud, putting it in another tangle with European tax authorities.

Google launched a service on Thursday it hopes will push millions of people in the developing world to access the Internet – and Google’s ads – via basic mobile phones.

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