NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks are ending September with more gains after new reports on unemployment claims and gross domestic product topped expectations.
Thursday's moves echo what has been driving stocks sharply higher throughout the month: investors are bidding up stocks as economic reports show modest growth that indicates the country is unlikely to fall back into recession.
First-time claims for unemployment benefits fell more than economists had forecast and a final reading showed second-quarter GDP was slightly higher than previously estimated.
The Dow Jones industrial average is up 41, or 0.4 percent, at 10,874. The S&P 500 is up 5, or 0.5 percent, at 1,150, while the Nasdaq composite is up 13, or 0.6 percent, at 2,390.