US stock market rises after encouraging news on US employment, consumer confidence

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The stock market is rising in midday trading after some encouraging news about the U.S. economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 27 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 16,100, at midday Wednesday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose four points, also 0.2 per cent, to 1,806. The Nasdaq composite gained the most — rising 19 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 4,037.

In a sign that workers are in less danger of being laid off, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped 10,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 316,000, the Labor Department said. Also, a private survey showed that consumer confidence rose in November.

Hewlett-Packard surged $1.76, or 7 per cent, to $26.85. The world’s second-largest maker of PCs forecast a strong profit for the current quarter late Tuesday.