NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are edging higher on Wall Street after some positive news about the U.S. jobs market and higher sales from major store chains.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 21 points, or 0.1 percent, at 14,952 shortly before noon Thursday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up three points, or 0.2 percent, at 1,656. The Nasdaq composite was up 11 points, or 0.3 percent, at 3,660.

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits last week dropped to a five-year low. Also the payroll company ADP reported that private sector employment rose by 176,000 jobs last month.

Costco and Walgreen's reported stronger sales last month, beating analysts' forecasts.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.98 percent from 2.90 percent late Wednesday.