NEW YORK - Upbeat news about jobs and the retail industry has helped stocks snap their longest losing streak of the year.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose three points to close at 1,695 Thursday, the index's first positive day after five consecutive loses. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 38 points to 15,311. The Nasdaq composite climbed 20 points to end at 3,781.
Unemployment claims fell close to their lowest level in six years last week, the government reported Thursday.
A pair of big retailers also delivered encouraging news.
Bed Bath & Beyond rose $3.25, or 4 percent, to $77.47 after its quarterly profit increased 11 percent.
J.C. Penney Co., whose shares have been tumbling toward 13-year lows on worries about its business, said it is pleased with its turnaround efforts.