NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street as the latest report on unemployment claims suggests that the job market is slowly getting better.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 45 points to 13,436 shortly after the opening bell Thursday.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up six at 1,467 and the Nasdaq composite rose 18 to 3,124.
The Labor Department reported that weekly applications for unemployment benefits edged up, the latest sign of slow but consistent gains in the job market. The previous week's total was revised lower.
Ford rose 2 percent after the company said it would double its quarterly dividend to 10 cents. Ford reinstated its dividend nine months ago after financial difficulties forced it to suspend its dividend five years ago.