Stocks rose on Thursday, with the Dow industrials breaking the key 9,000 mark, as investors saw strong quarterly results, including from 3M Co
The market extended its earnings-fueled early gains after data showed sales of used homes rose in June, making it the first time since 2004 that measure rose three months in a row. The Dow Jones home construction index <.DJUSHB> rallied more than 4 percent.
Results from bellwethers including AT&T Inc
The news came out as positive as one could have hoped for. There is no reason to sell based on the news today, said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer at North Star Investment Management Corp in Chicago.
The market likes almost all news this morning. The trend of earnings exceeding expectations continued, against a bar set pretty low.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 151.15 points, or 1.70 percent, to 9,032.41. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 17.70 points, or 1.86 percent, to 971.77. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 34.91 points, or 1.81 percent, to 1,961.29.
The recent batch of corporate results has lifted stocks, with the Nasdaq sealing on Wednesday an 11-day winning streak, its longest such run since 1996. The Dow industrials rose on Thursday above 9,000 points for the first time since January.
3M's shares rose 4 percent to $67.29, making it the top boost to the Dow industrials, after the diversified manufacturer handily beat Wall Street's profit expectations and lifted its revenue outlook for 2009.
Blue-chip AT&T posted a smaller-than-expected drop in quarterly profit as strong sales of Apple Inc's
Shares of eBay Inc jumped 10 percent to $21.40 after the company's results beat market expectations.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co
The company announced late on Wednesday it will buy biotechnology company Medarex Inc
Limiting the Dow industrial's gains, McDonald's Corp
Shares of Moody's Corp
Earlier on Thursday, U.S. government data showed claims for jobless benefits rose last week, roughly in line with expectations, while continuing claims for the previous week edged lower.
Other companies expected to report quarterly earnings on Thursday include Microsoft Corp
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)