New York– US stocks closed higher on Thursday as investors digested the latest jobs data.

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 28.01 points, or 0.10 per cent, to 27,677.79. The S&P 500 rose 4.67 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 3,117.43. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 4.03 points, or 0.05 per cent, to 8,570.70, Xinhua news agency reported.

More than half of the 30 Dow components traded in green territory, with Nike and Apple increasing 2.21 per cent and 1.47 per cent, respectively, the top two gainers.

Eight of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors traded on an upbeat note, with the materials sector adding 0.66 per cent, the top gainer.

The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, according to data released by the US Labor Department on Thursday.

In the week ending Nov. 30, the initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 10,000 to 203,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis, said the department.

The four-week moving average was 217,750, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 219,750, said the department.

Private payrolls, however, increased by only 67,000 in November, according to ADP and Moody’s Analytics on Wednesday.

“The job market is losing its shine. Manufacturers, commodity producers, and retailers are shedding jobs,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics.

He added that if job growth slows any further, unemployment will increase. (IANS)