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US stocks open higher, sending S&P 500 above its record high close; Hormel gains on earnings

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.

Bank Rates

Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
30 Y Fixed Graph 3.92% up 3.91%  
15 Y Fixed Graph 3.05% dw 3.08%  
30 Y Fixed Jumbo Graph 4.25% dw 4.27%  
5/1 ARM Graph 3.03% dw 3.14%  
5/1 Jumbo ARM Graph 3.36% dw 3.46%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
$30K HELOC Graph 4.47% up 4.46%  
$50K HELOC Graph 4.05% dw 4.06%  
$30K Loan Graph 5.07% -- 5.07%  
$50K Loan Graph 4.54% -- 4.54%  
$75K Loan Graph 4.54% -- 4.54%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
36 M New Graph 2.90% up 2.69%  
36 M Used Graph 3.29% up 3.16%  
48 M New Graph 3.02% up 2.76%  
48 M Used Graph 2.87% up 2.75%  
60 M New Graph 3.08% -- 3.08%  
Loan Type Graph Yield +/- Last Week
6 month Graph 0.37% -- 0.37%  
1 yr Graph 0.62% up 0.61%  
5 yr Graph 1.43% dw 1.44%