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Dow Jones Average Climbs After Jobs Report

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Stocks are closing higher on Wall Street following an encouraging report on the labor market and better sales from Costco and other retail stores.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 81 points to close at 13,575 Thursday.

The government said that 367,000 Americans sought unemployment benefits for the first time last week. That's fewer than economists had forecast.

Target, Costco and other retailers rose after reporting stronger sales than analysts were expecting.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 10 points to 1,461. The Nasdaq composite rose 14 points to 3,149.

Three stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was slightly higher than average at 3.6 billion shares.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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