Stocks Opened Higher after Fed Rate Hike

U.S. stocks opened higher on Thursday, after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 29.07 points or 0.16%, to 17,720.02. The S&P 500 was down 5.22 points, or 0.25%, to 2,067.85. The Nasdaq Composite was up 5.68 points, or 0.11%, to 5,076.82.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits last week fell from a five-month high, suggesting sustained labor market healing that could lead to further Federal Reserve interest rate hikes next year. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 271,000 for the week ended Dec.12, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The prior week’s claims were unrevised.

Crude prices briefly dipped below $35 a barrel on Thursday and remained close to that level after a shocking rise in inventory data. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in January traded at $35.22 a barrel, down 33 cents, or 0.8%, after briefly hitting below $35 a barrel.

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