Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average got a lift from a strong U.S. retail sales report and mostly better-than-expected earnings.
  • Honeywell (HON) - Get Report  traded higher after posting stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings and raising its full-year outlook.
  • American Express  (AXP) - Get Report   nearly 2% after the credit card company posted stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings, but rising expenses and rewards program costs ate into its bottom line.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks ended in positive territory Thursday buoyed by a strong U.S. retail sales report and mostly better-than-expected earnings.

Pinterest (PINS) - Get Report and Zoom Video Communications (ZM) - Get Report both had their first day of trading on Thursday. Pinterest was up 28.4% to $24.40, while Zoom surged 72.2% to $62 a share.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 106.88 points, or 0.40%, to 26,559.54, the S&P 500 advanced 0.16%, and the Nasdaq rose 0.025%.

U.S. retail sales rose 1.6% in March, the most in 18 months, and beat economists' estimates of 1.1%. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 192,000 for the week ended April 13, the lowest level since September 1969, according to the Labor Department.

"The U.S. posted strong economic indicators," said David Madden, a market analyst at CMC Markets U.K. "The jobless rate is now at its lowest rate in a decades, which underlines the strength of the jobs market. The retail sales were impressive too, as the March report showed 1.6% growth, and the consensus estimate was 0.9%. The update that strips out auto sales grew by 1.2%, and highlights the robust demand."

Honeywell (HON) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings, and boosted its full-year outlook, thanks to a solid performance from its aerospace division. Shares rose nearly 3.8% to $169.06.

Shares of Schlumberger (SLB) - Get Report dropped 3.9% to $45.56 after the offshore oil services giant reported first-quarter revenue and earnings that came in below year-earlier figures though matched analysts' forecasts.

Shares of American Express (AXP) - Get Report rose nearly 1.71% to $113.67 after the credit card company posted stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings, and held onto its full-year outlook, but rising expenses and rewards program costs ate into its bottom line.

Travelers (TRV) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings as the property and casualty insurer rode improved underwriting and sharply lower catastrophe losses to just under $800 million in net income. Shares advanced 2.25% to $138.93.

Danaher (DHR) - Get Report reported first-quarter earnings that beat analysts' forecasts though came in well lower than a year ago as costs related to its recent offer to purchase General Electric's (GE) - Get Report biopharma healthcare business offset revenue. Shares climbed around 1.5% to $126.77 .

Honeywell and Schlumberger are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells the stocks? Learn more now.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr said at a press conference that while the Russian government sponsored efforts to interfere with the election, no one in the Trump campaign "colluded in those schemes." However, Barr did say that Special Counsel Robert Mueller found 10 episodes in which President Trump potentially obstructed justice.

Investors also were also eyeing developments in North Korea, where state media said officials had tested conducted a "tactical" weapons systems test, the first since Trump and Kim Jong Un met in Hanoi earlier this year. The escalation of tensions between Washington and Pyongyang unnerved markets in Asia, sending them lower for the session.