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US stocks move higher on Japanese stimulus

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(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)

US stocks moved higher Thursday in the wake of aggressive stimulus measures by the Bank of Japan and despite an unexpected jump in US unemployment claims.

About 35 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 57.22 (0.39 percent) to 14,607.57.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 7.27 (0.47 percent) to 1,560.96, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 3.41 (0.11 percent) to 3,222.01.

The result came after Bank of Japan economic stimulus measures sent the Nikkei 225 index up 2.2 percent.

But initial US jobless claims, an indicator of the pace of layoffs, totaled 385,000 in the week ending March 30, up 28,000 from the prior week's reading, the Labor Department reported.

The unexpected increase in claims came on the heels of a disappointing report Wednesday on private-sector hiring. The Department of Labor Friday will release its closely watched monthly nonfarm jobs and unemployment report.

Electronics retailer Best Buy put on 4.1 percent after announcing a promotion to offer Apple's iPad 3 at a 30 percent discount.

Facebook rose 1.1 percent in anticipation of a product launch later in the day that is expected to involve Google's Android system.

Microsoft gave up 0.6 percent after Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded the technology giant, saying its new Windows 8 product "lacks momentum."

Cruise company Carnival dropped 2.1 percent on news that its Carnival Triumph broke free from its mooring at an Alabama port. The ship is undergoing repairs after being stranded off the Mexican coast in February.

Software company Compuware Corp. sank 3.2 percent after announcing preliminary fourth-quarter results that came in well below expectations. The company acknowledged it was disappointed in the results, but pointed to significant cost-cutting.

Bond prices jumped. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.79 percent from 1.81 percent Wednesday, while the 30-year yield dropped to 3.02 percent from 3.06 percent. Bond prices move inversely to yields.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130404/us-stocks-move-higher-japanese-stimulus