Stocks Open Higher on Data, Central Bank Support

U.S. stocks opened higher on Thursday, after the Federal Reserve reiterated it would continue stimulus and jobless claims fell to a five-year low. The Dow Jones industrial average lately was up 124.37 points, or 0.80 percent, at 15,623.91. The Standard
& Poor’s 500 Index was up 15.78 points, or 0.94 percent, at 1,701.51. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 32.37 points, or 0.89 percent, at 3,658.74.

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell 19,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 326,000, the fewest since January 2008. The Labor Department said Thursday that the less volatile four-week average slid 4,500 to 345,750.

Kellogg Co (NYSE:K) trimmed its 2013 sales forecast on Thursday, citing weaker growth in the United States and the stronger dollar. Net income rose to $352 million, or 96 cents per share, in the quarter from $324 million, or 90 cents per share, a year earlier. Net sales rose to $3.71 billion from $3.47 billion.

A New York state judge could decide as soon as Thursday whether J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP) can sell certain Martha Stewart- branded home goods despite rival Macy’s Inc’s (NYS:M) exclusive deal with the doyenne of U.S. home decor.

Budget fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz(STO:HM B) launched an e-commerce operation in the United States on Thursday, taking on rivals in the world’s biggest online market.

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