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Stocks edge up, despite higher unemployment claims

In a Feb. 17, 2012 photo trader Anthony Satriale, right, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York. U.S. stocks were poised to rise Thursday April 12, 2012. withDow futures up 0.5 percent and S&P 500 futures up 0.5 percent. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) -- 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.