May 19, 2011 11:59 AM by AP Posted by James H Egbert
NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks are opening higher, extending Wednesday's gains, after a government report showed a sharp drop in new claims for unemployment benefits for a second straight week. It's a sign that the job market is slowly recovering.
The Department of Labor is reporting that applications for benefits dropped 29,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 409,000.
The declines come after applications spiked last month, largely the result of temporary factors. The department reported two weeks ago that applications had surged to an eight-month high of 474,000.