Stocks eke out modest gains on better jobs reports

Associated Press
In this Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 photo, trader Todd Ingrilli, left, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Stock futures were mixed, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, in very light trading amid a flurry of reports on jobs, retail sales and the industrial and services sectors. The numbers that roll out Thursday and Friday may determine if or how much the U.S. Federal Reserve pulls back on the asset purchases that have kept international markets flush with cash. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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In this Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 photo, trader Todd Ingrilli, left, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Stock futures were mixed, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, in very light trading amid a flurry of reports on jobs, retail sales and the industrial and services sectors. The numbers that roll out Thursday and Friday may determine if or how much the U.S. Federal Reserve pulls back on the asset purchases that have kept international markets flush with cash. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are notching modest gains on Wall Street after encouraging news about the U.S. jobs market and higher sales from two major store chains.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose six points, or 0.04 percent, to 14,937 Thursday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 rose two points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,655. The Nasdaq composite rose nine points, or 0.3 percent, at 3,658.

The number of people applying for unemployment benefits last week dropped to a five-year low, and payroll company ADP reported that private sector employment rose by 176,000 last month.

Costco and Walgreen's reported stronger sales.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.99 percent from 2.90 percent.

Slightly more stocks fell than rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was light, 2.9 billion shares.

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