NEW YORK – U.S. stocks are opening higher, pushing the Standard & Poor's 500 index closer toward another record high.
Traders were encouraged by the latest encouraging sign in the U.S. job market, a decline last week in the number of people applying for unemployment benefits.
The S&P 500 rose two points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,988 as of 9:36 a.m. Eastern time Thursday.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 29 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,008. The Nasdaq composite rose three points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,528.
Hormel Foods rose 4 percent. The maker of Spam, Dinty Moore stew and other products reported higher profits in its latest quarter.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.42 percent.