NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are inching higher in early trading after the government reported that claims for unemployment benefits fell last week.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up seven points at 13,182 shortly after the opening bell Thursday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up a point to 1,403. The Nasdaq composite index rose six points to 3,018.
The Labor Department said the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell by 6,000 last week to a level consistent with modest gains in hiring.
Online brokerage E-Trade rose 6 percent after unexpectedly firing its CEO. Wendy's rose 2 percent after reporting higher revenue.
The stock market's gains were modest. China reported unsettling economics statistics, including lower growth in auto sales and factory output.