Encouraging signal on US labor market sends stock indexes higher, breaking a three-day slump

Markets Associated Press

Encouraging news on the U.S. job market is helping send stock indexes higher on Wall Street, breaking a three-day slump.

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Fewer people applied for unemployment aid last week, pushing the four-week average down to its lowest level in 15 years.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 146 points, or 0.8 percent, to 18,209 as of 11:45 a.m. Eastern time Thursday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 14 points, or 0.7 percent, 2,113. The Nasdaq composite climbed 46 points, or 0.9 percent, to 5,027.

Kohl's plunged 9 percent, the most in the S&P 500 index, after its revenue and a key sales measure fell short of Wall Street forecasts.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.24 percent.