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Dow Jones average increases after encouraging jobs report

Oct. 05, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

NEW YORK -- An encouraging report on the labor market and better sales from Costco and other retail stores helped push the stock market higher Thursday.

The government said that 367,000 Americans sought unemployment benefits for the first time last week. That's an increase from the previous week but fewer than economists had forecast.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 80.75 points to close at 13,575.36. Aluminum giant Alcoa led the 30 stocks in the Dow with a 3.3 percent surge, rising 29 cents to $9.07.

"It's not just the jobless claims numbers on their own," said Brian Gendreau, market strategist at Cetera Financial Group. "They're coming on the back of ... manufacturing and service-sector reports that were better than people expected this week."

The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 10.41 points to 1,461.40. The Nasdaq composite rose 14.23 points to 3,149.46.

The job-market report helped drive the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note up to 1.67 percent from 1.62 percent late Wednesday. Traders tend to sell Treasurys following better economic news.

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