Stocks Ended Higher on Solid Economic Data

U.S. stocks ended higher on Thursday, with help from a move to loosen internet regulations and strong economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 56.09 points, or 0.27%, to 20,663.02. The S&P 500 gained 8.69 points, or 0.37%, to 2,365.72. The Nasdaq Composite added 43.89 points, or 0.73%, to 6,055.13.

Oil prices settled slightly higher on Thursday, adding to the previous session’s advance on upbeat U.S. inventory data. West Texas Intermediate crude finished up 28 cents, or 0.6%, at $49.35 a barrel. Brent crude picked up 30 cents, or 0.6%, at $52.51 a barrel .

The number Americans on unemployment fell mid-May to the lowest level since 1988, underscoring the strongest labor market in years. So-called continuing claims, or the number of people collecting jobless benefits, fell by 22,000 to 1.9 million in early May, the government said Thursday.

Manufacturing in the Philadelphia region showed unexpected strength in May, according to data released Thursday, a sign that the factory sector could be on solid ground. The Philadelphia Fed said its manufacturing index jumped to a reading of 38.8 in May from 22 in April.

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