Stocks rise as investors cheer drop in unemployed

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Investors saw positive signs for the economy in today's report that the total number of people receiving unemployment benefits fell for the first time since January and pushed stocks higher. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's gauge of manufacturing activity also rose, helping to fuel the week's first gain for the Dow Jones industrial average.

The Dow rose 58 points, or 0.7 percent, to 8,556, with JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Bank of America (BAC) climbing the most of any of the average's 30 component stocks. Stocks began to climb shortly before 10 a.m., as the Senate Banking Committee began a hearing that featured testimony by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on the White House's proposed overhaul of financial regulation.

For more on stocks making moves today, be sure to check out BloggingStocks' market wrap-up.
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