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Stocks Hit Record Highs Thursday       09/18 15:30

   The U.S. stock market is closing at record highs Thursday following another 
piece of good news on the economy.

   NEW YORK (AP) --- The U.S. stock market is closing at record highs following 
another piece of good news on the economy.

   The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose nine points, or 0.5 percent, to close 
at a record 2,011 on Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 109 
points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,265 also a record. The Nasdaq composite jumped 31 
points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,593.

   Fewer Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, 
according to the Labor Department. Weekly applications fell 36,000 to 280,000, 
well below economists' forecasts.

   Also, the Federal Reserve on Wednesday made clear it would keep interest 
rates at record lows for a while. Low rates have boosted the market by helping 
revive the economy and making stocks more attractive compared with bonds.


(KA)


 
 
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