Stocks edge higher after unemployment claims fall

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are edging higher in midday trading as traders look over some mixed news on the U.S. economy.

The number of people applying for unemployment benefits sank last week. But the government also said the economy shrank at an annual rate of 1 percent in the first three months of the year.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose three points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,913 as of noon Eastern time Thursday. The S&P 500 is at a record high.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 17 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,650. The Nasdaq composite rose 12 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,237.

Hillshire Brands jumped 16 percent after Tyson Foods made an offer for the company, two days after a separate bid from poultry producer Pilgrim's Pride.