US stocks advanced in early trade on Wednesday after the Department of Labor reported that weekly jobless claims fell sharply last week to the lowest level since July 2008.

The S&P 500 Index advanced 10.34 points, or 0.88 percent, to trade at 1,191.11 at 9:45 a.m. EDT. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 91.69 points, or 0.83 percent, to trade at 11,128.06. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 1.20 percent.

The Department of Labor reported that initial jobless claims decreased by 34,000 to 407,000 for the week ended Nov 20 from the previous week's revised figure of 441,000, while economists expected 434,000. The 4-week moving average of initial claims declined 7,500 to 436,000 from the previous week's revised average of 443,500.

Personal spending in the U.S. rose 0.4 percent in October after a 0.3 percent gain in the previous month and incomes climbed 0.5 percent from a 0.1 percent decline in September.

But new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods in October declined by 3.3 percent, the largest decline since January 2009, to a seasonally adjusted $196 billion. Excluding transportation, orders decreased 2.7 percent and excluding defense orders decreased 2.1 percent.

Oracle Corp. shares rose 2.43 percent after a jury said rival SAP AG must pay $1.3 billion to Oracle for copyright infringement.

Shares of Deere & Co. advanced 0.22 percent after reporting better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings but the company’s fiscal 2011 earnings outlook fell short of analysts’ expectations.

Luxury-goods retailer Tiffany shares surged 4.65 percent as the company’s third-quarter net income rose 27 percent on higher sales.

The euro advanced 0.26 percent to 1.3402 against the dollar while the greenback declined 0.12 percent against the yen.

Crude oil futures rose 0.37 percent to $81.55/barrel ahead of inventory data and gold futures declined 0.16 percent.

European stock markets are currently trading higher with FTSE 100 up by 52.92 points, DAX30 up by 100.41 points and CAC 40 up by 19.90 points.