Stocks Opened Higher despite Disappointing Jobless Claims

U.S. stocks open higher on Thurday, as stimulus hopes increase after disappointing jobless claims. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately advanced 139.80 points, or 0.45%, to 31,200.27. The S&P 500 rose 8.88 points, or 0.23%, to 3,818.72. The Nasdaq Composite added 45.92 points, or 0.35%, to 13,174.87.

Oil futures lost ground on Thursday, as investors reacted to data that showed a December slowdown in the pace of Chinese crude imports. West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery fell 33 cents, or 0.6%, to $52.58 a barrel. March Brent crude dropped 40 cents, or 0.7%, to $55.66 a barrel.

Initial jobless claims filed traditionally through the states leaped by 181,000 to a seasonally adjusted 965,000 in the seven days ended Jan. 9, the government said Thursday. It was the highest level since August.

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