NEW YORK, June 24 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks traded higher on Thursday morning as investors digested the nation's weekly jobless claims numbers.
Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 286.87 points, or 0.85 percent, to 34,161.11. The S&P 500 was up 25.52 points, or 0.60 percent, to 4,267.36. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 108.27 points, or 0.76 percent, to 14,380.01.
Ten of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors advanced in morning trading, with health care and technology up 0.9 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively, leading the gainers. Energy slipped 0.3 percent, the lone declining group.
On the economic front, U.S. initial jobless claims decreased to 411,000 in the week ending June 19, following an upwardly revised level of 418,000 in the prior week, the Department of Labor reported on Thursday. The reading disappointed market expectations as economists polled by Dow Jones had estimated a bigger drop to 380,000.
The 4-week moving average was 397,750, an increase of 1,500 from the previous week's revised average, showed the report.