S&P 500 hits 10-week high
US. stocks rose on Thursday for a third straight day, with the S&P 500 at a two-and-a-half month high as earnings from technology companies as well as hopes for more monetary stimulus outweighed weak economic data.
Based on the latest available data, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 34.66 points, or 0.27 per cent, at 12,943.36. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 3.73 points, or 0.27 per cent, at 1376.51. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 23.30 points, or 0.79 per cent, at 2965.90.
"Good earnings reports from some major technology companies probably balanced out the poor data reports," said Paul Ausick at 24/7WallSt.com.
The Labor Department reported 386,000 initial jobless claims were filed in the week ending July 14, an almost 10 per cent increase from the prior week's upwardly revised figure and well above expectations of a rise to 365,000.
The National Association of Realtors reported sales of existing, or previously occupied, homes fell 5.4 per cent in June from May, instead of an expected rise.
IBM led the Dow higher, adding 3.8 per cent, after reporting better-than-expected quarterly profits and raising its full-year estimate.
American Express and Bank of America were the laggards, each down 3.6 per cent. AmEX's quarterly revenue missed estimates; Bank of America had shed 4.9 per cent Wednesday after its earnings report.
Outside the Dow, Morgan Stanley plunged 5.3 per cent. The investment bank posted quarterly financial results well below expectations.
On the Nasdaq, smartphone chipmaker Qualcomm climbed 4.3 per cent after saying it was ramping up supply for a "strong December quarter."
Shares in eBay gained 8.6 per cent. The online auction house said its quarterly profit more than doubled due to strong showings by its Marketplaces and PayPal services.
Drugstore chain Walgreens soared 11.8 per cent after announcing a multi-year pharmacy network deal with Express Scripts, up 1.9 per cent. The companies did not disclose the terms of the contract.
Walgreens's rival CVS Caremark dived 6.2 per cent.
Wall Street stocks closed higher Wednesday amid encouraging earnings reports. The Dow added 0.8 per cent, the S&P 500 was up 0.7 per cent and the Nasdaq rose 1.1 per cent.
Bond prices fell. The 10-year Treasury yield increased to 1.51 per cent from 1.48 per cent Wednesday, while the 30-year rose to 2.61 from 2.58 per cent.
Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.