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U.S. jobless claims may confirm improving labor market

New claims for US unemployment benefits rose for the first time in four weeks, but the trend still pointed to a steady decline in job layoffs across the country, the Labor Department said Thursday. Initial jobless claims climbed to 381,000 in the week ending December 24, an increase of 15,000…

Buoyant economic data boosts U.S. stocks

NEW YORK — Positive data on the US jobs market, industrial activity and trade gave a boost to US stocks Thursday, but eurozone clouds continued to hover over the markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 45.33 points (0.38 percent) to finish at 11,868.81. The broader S&P 500 rose 3.93…

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