Stocks Opened Higher after Jobless Claims Data

U.S. stocks edged up in choppy trade on Thursday, as investors displayed nervousness ahead of Friday’s nonfarm-payrolls report that may impact the Federal Reserve’s monetary-policy outlook. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately was up 16.67%, or 0.11% to 14,977.26. The S&P 500 index gained 3.92 points or 0.2%, to 1,612.82 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 13.53 points, or 0.40%, to 3,415.01.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, pointing to moderate job growth despite slowing economic activity. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 346,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were revised to show 3,000 more applications received than previously reported.

The European Central Bank kept its main interest rate on hold at a record low 0.5 percent on Thursday as it waits to see whether early signs of stabilisation in the euro zone will blossom into an economic recovery.

Just two days after refusing a government request to recall 2.7 million older-model Jeeps, Chrysler has decided to do two other recalls totaling 630,000 vehicles worldwide.

PepsiCo Inc (PEP.N) denied a published report that it was in talks to buy Israel’s SodaStream International Ltd (SODA.O), whose machines make carbonated drinks from tap water.

Ciena Corp.’s (CIEN) fiscal second-quarter loss narrowed as the networking-equipment company’s revenue topped its own forecast. The company also estimated current-quarter revenue at $515 million to $545 million, while analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect $509 million.

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