Summary box: Stocks higher on improving jobs

AP News
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Posted: Dec 22, 2011 5:06 PM
Summary box: Stocks higher on improving jobs

STOCKS INCH UP: Encouraging economic reports sent stocks slightly higher Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 61 points to 12,169.

JOBS: Applications for unemployment fell for the third week in a row. The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to its lowest level since April 2008, the government said.

ECONOMY: The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators rose strongly in November for the second straight month. The economy is gaining momentum, and the risks of a recession are receding, economists with the business research group said.