NEW YORK, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks opened higher on Thursday as investors digested a batch of key economic data and corporate earnings reports.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 16.11 points, or 0.06 percent, to 25,599.86. The S&P 500 increased 0.84 points, or 0.03 percent, to 2,858.54. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 2.33 points, or 0.03 percent, to 7,890.65.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting that a strong economy was helping the labor market.
In the week ending August 4, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 213,000, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week's revised level, according to the Labor Department on Thursday. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 218,000 to 219,000.
The 4-week moving average was 214,250, a decrease of 500 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 214,500 to 214,750, said the department.
On the earnings front, Booking Holdings and Norwegian Cruise Line both reported better-than-expected earnings on Thursday.
This earnings season has been stronger than analysts had expected.
Second quarter earnings are expected to increase 23.5 percent from the same period last year. Excluding the energy sector, the earnings growth estimate declines to 20.4 percent, according to Thomson Reuters. Enditem