Stocks Started Up amid Economic Reports

U.S. stocks rose at the open on Wednesday after better-than-expected reports on weekly jobless
claims and durable-goods orders. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately gained 21.64 points, or
0.13%, to 16,094.44. The S&P 500 was up 3.78 points, or 0.21%, to 1,806.53. The Nasdaq Composite
rose 13.09 points, or 0.33%, to 4,030.84.

Orders for big-ticket U.S. goods fell 2% in October, largely because of fewer contracts for jumbo
jets, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

The number of people who applied for U.S. unemployment benefits fell for the sixth time in seven
weeks, returning to end-of-summer levels and pointing to some improvement in the labor
market.Initial jobless claims dropped by 10,000 to 316,000 in the week ended Nov. 23, the Labor
Department said Wednesday.

Euro zone financial sector stress has fallen to levels not seen since before the global financial
crisis began in 2007, but the sector remains fragile, the European Central Bank said on Wednesday.

Hewlett Packard Co. topped Wall Street expectations, despite seeing sales slip across nearly all
business segments. In its fourth-quarter, it earned $1.41 billion, or 73 cents a share, after
losing $6.85 billion, or $3.49 a share, during the same period a year earlier.

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