| Business

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Earnings gains push Dow, S&P 500 to new highs

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

By The Associated Press
Thursday, July 18, 2013, 8:54 p.m.

NEW YORK — Earnings gains at major companies and encouraging economic news pushed stocks to record levels on Thursday.

A drop in claims for unemployment benefits signaled a healthier economy and encouraged investors to buy stocks. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said manufacturing in its region grew at the fastest pace in more than two years this month.

Among companies reporting quarterly earnings, Morgan Stanley was one of the standouts, rising $1.16, or 4.4 percent, to $27.70. The New York bank reported sharply higher earnings driven by investment banking gains and said it planned to spend $500 million buying back its stock. IBM rose $3.44, or 1.8 percent, to $197.99 after its profit beat analysts' forecasts.

Energy companies rose as the price of oil shot to a 16-month high on signs that the economy is improving. Technology stocks lagged the market in response to lackluster results from eBay and Intel. Industry bellwethers Google and Microsoft both plunged 5 percent in post-market trading after reporting disappointing earnings after the close.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 8.46 points to 1,689.37. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 78.02 points to 15,548.54. The Dow's gains were led by IBM and UnitedHealth Group, which reported better earnings than analysts were expecting.

The Nasdaq composite edged up 1.28 points to 3,611.28.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Business Headlines

  1. Union leaders warn Post-Gazette newsroom of possible layoffs
  2. Covestro leader MacCleary finds stability amid change
  3. Mall stores required to open for Thanksgiving
  4. Coke had hand in shaping nonprofit health group, emails show
  5. Black Friday loosens its hold on the holiday season
  6. German financial giant Allianz SE slashes coal investments
  7. VW adds 75,000 vehicles to emissions cheat scandal
  8. Pfizer acquires Allergan in $160B deal
  9. Feds upgrade GDP’s growth
  10. ‘Word people’ could start careers as court reporters, medical scribes
  11. New rules proposed for high-speed traders