By The Associated PressJOBS BOOST: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose for the first day in six after a government report showed that unemployment claims fell close to their lowest level in six years. Stocks have been falling in part because of concerns about a potential government shutdown as the White House and Republican-led Congress square off in a budget fight. RETAIL GAINS: Growth-sensitive retail stocks were among the best performers in the S&P 500 index. The group got a lift from troubled department store owner J.C. Penney, which said in a statement that it was pleased with its turnaround efforts. Bed Bath & Beyond also gave the industry a boost with a strong earnings report. HERTZ HURTS: Car rental company Hertz had a bad day. The company's stock plunged $4.15, or 16.1 percent, to $21.63 after the company said that it was cutting its full-year earnings and revenue forecasts because of weaker demand for its airport car rentals.