New York • Stocks moved slightly higher in morning trading Thursday after the government reported that the number of people applying for unemployment benefits sank last week, a sign that employers are laying off fewer people.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose four points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,914 as of 11:03 a.m., three points above its record close of 1,911 reached on Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 18 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,651 and the Nasdaq composite rose 12 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,237.
TASTES LIKE CHICKEN: Hillshire Brands shot up $6.97, or 16 percent, to $51.76. Chicken company Tyson Foods made a $6.2 billion offer for the deli meats and hotdog maker, two days after Pilgrim's Pride bid $5.58 billion for the company. Hillshire is already trading above Tyson's $50-per-share offer. Tyson also rose on the news. The stock gained $2.59, or 6.4 percent, to $43.34.