The US labour market could be improving, as fresh data shows the number of people claiming unemployment insurance at the end of last month was down.
According to the Labor Department in Washington DC, first-time claims for jobless benefits fell by 9,000 to 363,000 in the week ending October 27th.
If businesses are easing up on their redundancies, it could be a sign they are poised to initiate hiring programmes.
Employees in the US are also working harder, with another Labor Department report out today (November 1st) showing that productivity per hour rose by a 1.9 per cent annual rate, while labour expenses dropped at an unexpected 0.1 per cent pace.
A separate study by the ADP Research Institute found American firms expanded their payrolls in October by the most in eight months, with this increase being recorded at 158,000, up from September's 114,000.
At 15:00 GMT, the Dow Jones rose by 1.2 per cent to 13256.7 points and the Nasdaq was higher by 1.3 per cent to 3016.5 points.
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