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Stocks Opened Higher after Historic Jobless Claims

-- Thursday, March 26, 2020, 9:51 --

U.S. stocks opened higher on Thursday following a weekly jobless claims report from the Labor Department that showed unemployment claims soared, as the coronavirus pandemic shut down businesses across the nation. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 538.92 points, or 2.54%, to 21,739.47. The S&P 500 gained 60.87 points, or 2.46%, to 2,536.43. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 153.48 points, or 2.08%, to 7,537.78.

Oil futures slipped Thursday, unable to shake off concerns over the hit to demand from the global COVID-19 pandemic. West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery fell 59 cents, or 2.3%, to $23.90 a barrel. May Brent crude fell 24 cents, or 0.9%, to $27.15 a barrel.

The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits last week rocketed to a record 3.28 million as large parts of the U.S. economy shut down and companies laid off scores of workers to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

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