Stocks move higher; S&P 500 heading for a record

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are moving mostly higher, pushing the Standard & Poor's 500 index closer toward another record close.

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 four points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,990 as of noon Eastern time Thursday.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 67 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,045. The Nasdaq composite was flat at 4,526. Hewlett-Packard rose 5 percent after the company reported its first sales increase in nearly three years.

Sears fell 7 percent after the company reported that its loss doubled in the latest quarter. Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.42 percent.

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