The FTSE in London finished flat and the DAX in Germany closed up 0.84%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed up by 0.7% and the Nikkei in Japan finished up 0.25%.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury rose 3/32. diluting the yield to 1.756%. The greenback was up 0.02%, according to the dollar index.
November crude oil futures tacked on 47 cents to settle at $92.89 a barrel. December gold futures settled up $7.80 at $1,778.
In corporate news, Oracle (ORCL), the software giant, reported an in-line profit Thursday for its fiscal first quarter but fell short on revenue by a wide margin. The stock rose less than 1%.Shares of Darden Restaurants (DRI) gained nearly 5% after the Orlando, Fla.-based restaurant operator, whose chains include Olive Garden and Red Lobster, topped Wall Street's earnings expectations for its fiscal first quarter. KB Home booked a third-quarter profit following two quarters of losses, saying that "it is clear" the recovery in housing is gaining momentum nationwide with inventory levels declining and home prices rising. The stock jumped more than 16%. Shares of high-end apparel designer Michael Kors (KORS) surged more than 9% after the company hiked its fiscal second-quarter and full-year earnings guidance.
2012 Stock Predictions and Outlook
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