Dow Up 61 on Strong Earnings

Weekly unemployment claims fall to lowest level since January
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2009 3:14 PM CDT
Traders look to buy and sell shares of Merck stock at the New York Stock Exchange in this undated file photo.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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(Newser) – Stocks closed below their session highs but still finished in positive territory after Alcoa set a strong tone for the third-quarter earnings season. The firm posted a $77 million profit after the bell yesterday. Also helping was good news on the jobs front, with last week’s initial claims for jobless benefits down 33,000 to 521,000. The Dow gained 61 points to close at 9,787. The Nasdaq added 14 points to close at 2,124, and the S&P 500 gained 8 points, closing at 1,065, the Wall Street Journal reports.