Published: Dec 26, 2013 4:12 PM EST

NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks are higher in quiet trading on Wall Street as traders return from the Christmas holiday.
    
Investors were encouraged by a sharp drop last week in the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits, the latest sign of improvement in the U.S. job market.
    
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 122 points, or 0.8 percent, to close at 16,479 Thursday. It was the Dow's 50th record high close this year.
    
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose eight points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,842. The Nasdaq composite rose 11 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,167.
    
T-Mobile rose 2 percent on talk that Japan's Softbank was considering buying the company.
    
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose near 3 percent, the highest since September.

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