- Associated Press - Thursday, April 12, 2012

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks opened slightly higher despite a rise in weekly unemployment claims.

The Dow Jones industrial average is up 41 points to 12,849 minutes after the opening bell Thursday. That’s a gain of 0.3 percent.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that applications for unemployment benefits jumped to 380,000 last week. The previous week’s figures were also revised higher and the less-volatile four-week average rose to 368,500. Treasury prices jumped after the report, as traders shifted money into safer assets.

The S&P 500 is up 4 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,373. The Nasdaq composite is up 9 points to 3,025, also a gain of 0.3 percent.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC sank 1.5 percent on news of an oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico near wells operated by Shell Oil.

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