Stocks Opened Higher after Economic Reports

U.S. stocks opened higher on Thursday as investors assessed better-than-expected economic reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately added 25.82 points, or 0.14%, to 17,991.89. The S&P 500 gained 3.10 points, or 0.15%, to 2,111.68. The Nasdaq Composite was up 9.86 points, or 0.19%, to 5,132.27.

Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits held below 300,000 for the 16th straight week, signaling a tighter labor market that will help propel growth in the second half of 2015. Jobless claims rose by 3,000 to 271,000 in the week ended June 20, a Labor Department report showed Thursday.

U.S. consumer spending recorded its largest increase in nearly six years in May on strong demand for automobiles and other big-ticket items. Consumer spending jumped 0.9% last month, a sharp increase from an upwardly revised 0.1% increase in April, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

The European Central Bank held a crucial cash lifeline for Greece unchanged on Thursday, a person familiar with the discussion said, as the head of the Bundesbank objected to the way Greek banks are being funded.

21st Century Fox Inc. said Roger Ailes has signed a new multiyear contract to continue as chairman and chief executive of Fox News.

General Mills Inc, the maker of Cheerios cereal and Betty Crocker cake mixes, said it would cut 675-725 jobs in its international business under a new restructuring plan aimed at cutting costs and speeding up growth.

Accenture PLC on Thursday raised its full-year guidance, citing a weaker-than-expected impact from the strong dollar. For the year ending in August, the consulting firm now expects net revenue growth in local currency of 9% to 10%, up from 8% to 10% previously. It predicts full-year adjusted earnings between $4.73 and $4.78 a share, compared with a previous range of $4.66 to $4.76.






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