US stocks edge higher in early trading

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock prices are moving slightly higher in early trading on Wall Street after the government reported an encouraging drop in claims for unemployment benefits.

Minutes after the opening bell Thursday the Dow Jones industrial average was up 22 points at 14,981, a slight increase of 0.2 percent. The Dow dropped 217 points the day before.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up four points at 1,612, an increase of 0.2 percent. The Nasdaq composite rose 12 points to 3,414 points, or 0.4 percent.

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 11,000 last week to 346,000, a level consistent with steady job growth.

L Brands, which owns Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works, fell 2 percent after reporting sales growth in May that was below Wall Street’s estimates.

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