Stocks Open Higher After Strong U.S. Data

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks opened slightly higher Thursday, taking a cue from a continued rise in oil prices and strong U.S. economic data. Both major oil benchmarks pushed above $50 a barrel for the first time since last year, while orders for durable goods jumped and first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell to a one-month low. The Dow industrials 23 points, or 0.1%, to 17,876, building on a 359-point rally over the previous two sessions. The S&P 500 rose 3 points, or 0.1%, to 2,093, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 6 points, or 0.1%, to 4,901.

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