NEW YORK, April 23 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks opened slightly higher on Thursday after data showed more than 4.4 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week.
Shortly after opening, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 82.89 points, or 0.35 percent, to 23,558.71. The S&P 500 increased 11.32 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,810.63. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 26.9 points, or 0.32 percent, to 8,522.28.
U.S. initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, registered 4.427 million in the week ending April 18, the Department of Labor reported on Thursday. That brought the total number of claimants in the past five weeks to more than 26 million amid the COVID-19 fallout.
"With so many millions out of work for a month and still waiting for the safety net to kick in, household spending power is severely constrained," which is likely to take a big bite out of April consumption, Chris Low, chief economist at FHN Financial, said in a note.
Meanwhile, investors were somewhat relieved as oil prices attempted to recover from their recent slumps.
The West Texas Intermediate for June delivery jumped more than 23 percent to 16.98 U.S. dollars a barrel Thursday morning, while the international benchmark Brent crude soared more than 8 percent. Enditem