U.S. stocks opened higher on Thursday, with the main benchmarks recovering some of the losses suffered over the past two sessions. Stocks got a boost from a stronger-than-expected private-sector jobs report. Weekly jobless claims jumped to a five-month high, though layoff levels continue to remain near historic lows. The S&P 500 opened 3.7 points, or 0.2%, higher at 2,415. The Nasdaq Composite was up 17 points, or 0.3%, to 6,215 at the open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average began the session up 20 points, or 0.1%, at 21,025. Among the early gainers, shares of Pinnacle Foods and Conagra Brands, Inc. jumped after reports of a possible merger.
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