Stocks Close Higher on Better Job Market News

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

New York, NY (AP) - Stocks are closing higher on encouraging economic reports. The number of people that applied for unemployment benefits dropped last week to the lowest level since April 2008, in the latest sign that the job market is healing.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 62 points Thursday, or less than 1 percent, to 12,170.

The S&P 500 index rose 10 points, also less than 1 percent, to 1,254, while the Nasdaq was up 21, or less than a percent, at 2,599.

Applications for unemployment fell for the third week in a row. The Conference Board also reported that its measure of future economic activity had a big increase in November. It was the second straight gain, signaling that the U.S. economy was picking up some speed.

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  • by Glenn Location: Tallahassee on Dec 22, 2011 at 02:05 PM
    The improving lives of the American people is bad news for Republicans. They want our country to stay in the ditch so that they can get elected. A bit selfish? I vote for the American people and for the President to continue his steady hand on the steering wheel to drive us out of this nightmare that the last Republican administration got us into.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 22, 2011 at 06:26 PM in reply to Glenn
      Actually a lot of the market is cyclic. We have gotten pretty good at minimizing the effects of the highs and lows, but Obama made some very bad missteps and prolonged the recession. Now that Congress has stalled and hasn't passed any of Obama's policies (or any other thing) of substance in the last 18 months, we're starting to see the results of letting the markets correct itself. It's too late for Obama anyway.
      • reply
        by Gerry on Dec 22, 2011 at 09:58 PM in reply to
        Obama took office on 1/20/09. The recession ended in June of 2009 according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. The recession that began in December of 2007 ended in June of 2009, according to the NBER.
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