Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street after a pair of encouraging reports on employment.
Payroll provider ADP said Thursday that U.S. businesses added 158,000 jobs in October, and the Labor Department reported that applications for unemployment benefits dropped 9,000 to 363,000 last week. That's a level that suggests employers are starting to hire workers again.
The report comes just before Friday's October jobs data, the last broad snapshot of the economy before the election.
A department spokesman says Hurricane Sandy had no effect on the number of applicants. The report covered the week ending Oct. 27, before the storm reached shore.