US Stocks Open Higher Thursday

(AP) -- Stocks were moderately higher on Thursday morning trading, putting the market on pace to break a three-day losing streak. Investors were encouraged by the latest jobs data that showed fewer Americans filing for unemployment benefits, another sign that the economic recovery is underway.

The S&P 500 index was up 0.6% as of 10:10 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.2% and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite was up 1.2%.

The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell last week to 444,000, a new pandemic low and a sign that the job market keeps strengthening as consumers spend freely again, viral infections drop and business restrictions ease.

Part of that decline may be fueled by Republican governors who have opted not to allow their residents to claim the $300-a-week supplemental benefit that came with the latest economic relief package, so it could be pushing more people back into the labor market.

Treasury yields mostly fell, despite the positive economic data. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 1.63% from 1.67% late Wednesday.

Investors continue to be focused on the potential for inflation down the road. Prices for everything from gasoline to lumber have been rising sharply this year as the economy reheats after the pandemic, and investors have been worried that high inflation may cause the Federal Reserve to pull back on any stimulus efforts the central bank is making.

Oatly, the largest maker of oat milk in the world, will go public on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange later today. The company raised $1.5 billion as part of its initial public offering.

Digital currencies fell sharply Wednesday after China's banking association issued a warning over the risks associated with digital currencies. On Thursday the price of Bitcoin rose 18% to roughly $42,000, according to the online brokerage Coinbase.