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US stock market rises after three days of losses

In this Monday, June 10, 2013 photo, traders Joel Lucchese, left, and Brandon Barb confer on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Global stock markets endured sharp losses Thursday June 13, 2013 as gyrations on the Tokyo market, the Asian region's biggest, continued _ fueled by worries about a surging yen and monetary policies in the U.S. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) -- More encouraging reports on the U.S. economy are sending U.S. stocks higher even as the Japanese market slides again.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 51 points, or 0.3 percent, to 15,046 points in midday trading Thursday. It was down as much as 41 points in the early going. The Dow is coming off its first three-day losing streak since December.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up six points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,618. The Nasdaq composite rose 12 points, or 0.4 percent, to 3,413.

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week, and retail sales increased 0.6 percent in May from April.

In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index slumped 6.4 percent as doubts grew that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic turnaround plan will succeed.