Stocks Opened Higher After Economic Reports

U.S. stocks opened  higher on Thursday as investors digested dovish comments from the ECB president Mario Draghi as well as economic reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately added 112.88 points, or 0.69%, to 16,464.26. The S&P 500 gained 13.57 points, or 0.70%, to 1,962.43. The Nasdaq Composite was up 32.86 points, or 0.69%, to 4,782.84.

The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged, which was no surprise. As usual, the main event following the meeting of the ECB Governing Council is President Mario Draghi’s news conference in Frankfurt.

The number of Americans who sought unemployment benefits at the end of August rose to a two-month high, but so-called initial claims are still at very low levels that suggest a low rate of layoffs in the economy. Initial jobless claims in the period running from Aug. 23 to Aug. 29 rose by 12,000 to 282,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.

The U.S. trade deficit fell in July to its lowest level in five months as exports rose, signaling underlying strength in the economy amid concerns about a global growth slowdown. The Commerce Department said on Thursday the trade gap narrowed 7.4 percent to $41.9 billion, the smallest since February.

Joy Global Inc. on Thursday reported worse-than-expected profit and revenue for its latest quarter as weak demand for commodities continues to batter the mining-equipment maker. The company said it now expects revenue for the year to be $3.1 billion, down from a previous estimate between $3.3 billion and $3.6 billion.

Campbell Soup Co. (CPB) reported on Thursday a fiscal fourth-quarter profit that declined to $128 million, or 22 cents a share, from $234 million, or 43 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

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