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Dow Jones average creeps up after jobs report

In this Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, file photo, traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. A pair of encouraging economic reports helped nudge the stock market higher Wednesday. Measures of business activity in the service sector and job growth last month came in better than economists had expected. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) -- An encouraging report on the labor market and better sales from Costco and other retail stores are sending stocks higher on Wall Street.

The government reported that 367,000 Americans sought unemployment benefits for the first time last week. That's an increase from the previous week but fewer than economists had forecast.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 66 points to 13,560 shortly before noon. Bank of America led the 30 stocks in the Dow with a 3 percent surge.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose seven points to 1,458 and the Nasdaq composite edged up one point to 3,136.

The job-market report helped push the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note up to 1.64 percent from 1.62 percent late Wednesday.