Stocks edge higher in midday trading; T-Mobile up

Thursday - 12/26/2013, 12:07pm EST

FILE - In this Dec. 18, 2013 file photo, Michael Smyth, left, works with fellow traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. U.S. stocks were poised to open higher Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, as Wall Street returns from the Christmas holiday, helped by a report that showed fewer Americans were filing for unemployment benefits. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are higher on Wall Street as traders return from the Christmas holiday.

Investors were encouraged by a sharp drop last week in the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits, the latest sign of improvement in the U.S. job market.

Bond prices fell, pushing long-term interest rates to the highest since September. The yield on the on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 68 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,426 as of noon Thursday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose five points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,839. The Nasdaq composite rose 10 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,165.

T-Mobile rose 1 percent on talk that Japan's Softbank was considering buying the company.


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