Stocks jump after unemployment applications plunge

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are soaring as trading opens after applications for unemployment benefits fell to a five-month low and the government reported that the economy grew faster than previously reported this spring.

First-time requests for unemployment dropped last week to the lowest level since April 2. The government also says that the economy grew at a 1.3 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter, up from the 1 percent estimate made a month ago.

German lawmakers also voted to expand the powers of Europe's bailout fund.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones industrial average is up 207 points, or 1.9 percent, at 11,216. The Standard & Poor's 500 index is up 20, or 1.7 percent, at 1,171. The Nasdaq composite index is up 40, or 1.6 percent, at 2,532.