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Stocks Rise; Google Beats

Stocks in this article: MGM UPS GOOG

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks posted gains Thursday, aided by strong corporate earnings and good manufacturing data, as investors shrugged off disappointing jobs data. After the close, Google (GOOG) reported earnings that beat expectations.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 21 points, or 0.2%, to 11,145. The S&P 500 gained 1 point, or 0.1%, at 1212, while the Nasdaq went ahead by 11 points, or 0.4%, at 2516.

After the close of trading, Google said thriving ad sales helped it earn $6.76 per share, excluding items, in the first quarter and boosted revenue by 23%, topping forecasts on both counts. Shares added 1.1% during the session to finish at $595.30, but were selling off in extended hours trading with some reports citing increasing costs as a worry for investors. Also, CEO Eric Schmidt did not participate in the after hours earnings call.

The day's economic news offered a mixed view of the recovery. Initial jobless claims unexpectedly rose to 484,000 and industrial production grew at a sluggish pace in March. Regional manufacturing indices, however, showed continued strength.

U.S. foreclosure rates surged 35% in the first quarter, according to RealtyTrac.

China's gross domestic product rose 11.9% in the first quarter, while inflation remained low at 2.2%.

Overseas, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.2%, and Japan's Nikkei advanced 0.6%. The FTSE in London was added 0.5% while the DAX in Frankfurt rose 0.2%.

London's Heathrow Airport -- Europe's busiest -- closed operations Thursday after a volcano in Iceland forced authorities to close air space in the U.K. and Scandinavia.

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