Stocks edged up on Thursday, extending a run up into a fifth trading session, with a brighter outlook from consumer products maker Procter & Gamble Co countering a dim forecast from Monsanto Co.
The day's round of corporate guidance also included a cheery outlook from Texas Instruments Inc
Monsanto dragged the S&P materials index <.GSPM> down 1.4 percent.
Investors are waiting for an assessment on what type of recovery it is, said Alan Lancz, president of Alan B. Lancz & Associates Inc in Toledo, Ohio.
I do think if the market continues its rally into the fourth quarter, that we're borrowing gains from 2010 from the standpoint it will be reflecting a v-shaped recovery, and any disappointment there will hurt.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> added 9.60 points, or 0.10 percent, to 9,556.82. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> edged up 0.92 points, or 0.09 percent, at 1,034.29. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 4.95 points, or 0.24 percent, to 2,065.34.
Analysts said stocks were due for a breather after a four-day run that saw the S&P 500 index close Wednesday's session at its highest level in nearly a year.
Procter & Gamble was the Dow's biggest lift, gaining 4.5 percent to $56.17 after it affirmed its earnings forecast for the current quarter and said sales would improve in the next quarter.
Bellwether Texas Instruments raised its third-quarter forecast after the bell Wednesday, expecting to ride a gradual recovery in the global semiconductor industry. The stock added 0.2 percent to $25.18, while semiconductor shares <.SOXX> gained 0.6 percent.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)