US stock market opens higher

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Number of people filing for unemployment insurance for first time is at lowest level since October 2015

NEW YORK – The U.S. stock market opened higher Thursday with positive initial jobless claims data in the country.

The Dow Jones industrial index rose 0.25 percent to begin the day at 17,042 points. The Nasdaq increased 0.35 percent to start the day at 4,690 points and the S&P 500 rose 0.19 percent to begin the day at 1,992 points.

The rise in indexes came after the weekly initial jobless claims data came lower than expectations earlier on Thursday.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced that the total number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time during the week ending March 5 was 259 thousand — the lowest level since October 2015, and lower than both the market expectation of 275 thousand for this week and the previous week’s revised figure of 277 thousand.

Meanwhile, crude oil prices traded lower on Thursday. When the stock market opened, the American benchmark West Texas Intermediate traded around $37.61 per barrel with an almost 2 percent loss, while the global benchmark Brent crude traded around $40.09 a barrel with a 2.4 percent decline.

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