Stocks rose on Thursday after overcoming a midday swoon, providing a pause in a lengthy weak streak for major indexes that has raised concerns about the bull market.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 13,103.68, up 26.34 points or 0.2 per cent. The broader S&P 500 closed at 1,412.97, up 4.22 points or 0.3 per cent, marking its biggest gain in six trading sessions. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite closed at 12,300.23, up 105.21 points or 0.9 per cent.
The moves follow an upbeat reading on U.S. initial jobless claims. They fell to 369,000 for the period ended last week, from 392,000 in the previous week.
Durable goods orders in September rose 9.9 per cent, above expectations but merely rebounding from a 13.1 per cent decline in the previous month. After stripping out transportation, orders rose 2 per cent, which also topped expectations but failed to generate much enthusiasm from economists.
In Europe, the U.K. reported that its economy expanded by 1 per cent in the third quarter, though the expansion was largely pinned to the impact of the London Olympics.
Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. fell 0.3 per cent after it reported a 22 per cent dip in its third quarter earnings, to 74 cents a share, and cut its guidance for the full year.
Apple Inc. fell 1.2 per cent during regular trading hours, before releasing its quarterly results. The technology company reported earnings of $8.67 (U.S.) a share, shy of the $8.75 a share analysts expected. However, revenues were slightly higher than expectations.
Amazon.com Inc. reported a $274-million loss, or 60 cents a share, even as revenue rose 27 per cent. The shares fell 2.4 per cent during regular trading hours, but fell only slightly in after hours trading.
Microsoft Corp. fell less than 0.1 per cent after it unveiled its much anticipated new operating system, Windows 8, at a splashy event in New York.
Procter & Gamble rose 2.9 per cent after it reported a 6.9 per cent decline in earnings and a 4 per cent decline in revenue – but nonetheless beat expectations.
Among commodities, gold rose to $1,713 (U.S.) an ounce, up $11.40. Crude oil rose to $86.05 a barrel, up 32 cents. Among Canadian commodity producers, Suncor Energy Inc. rose 1.3 per cent and Barrick Gold Corp. rose 2.4 per cent.