U.S. stocks opened higher Thursday, after a government report showed a rise in initial jobless claims. The Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 0.5% soon after the opening bell, while the S&P 500

rose 0.6% and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite

gained 0.7%, according to FactSet data, at last check. The U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday that initial jobless claims increased to 198,000 in the week ending March 25. That was above the total 195,000 forecast by economists polled by the Wall Street Journal, but the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits remains historically low.

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