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Wall Street

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NEW YORK (AP) — Upbeat news about jobs and retailers helped the Standard & Poor’s 500 index snap its longest losing streak of the year on Thursday. U.S. unemployment claims fell close to their lowest level in six years, the government reported, and J.C. Penney and Bed Bath & Beyond delivered encouraging news.

The positive trends outweighed worries about a potential government shutdown in Washington next week. Those concerns had led the S&P 500 index to five consecutive days of declines, the index’s worst run in 2013. That ended Thursday when the S&P 500 index rose six points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 1,698.67. The broad index is less than two percent below its all-time high from Sept. 18.

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