Updated from 9:45 a.m. EDT
Wall Street was rising Thursday as traders digested a fresh set of mixed earnings reports and a better-than-expected weekly jobless claims report following a huge selloff over the prior couple of sessions.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was up 32 points to 12,633, and the
gained 4 points to 1395. The
tacked on 13 points to 2461.
The action came on the heels of a two-day tumble for stocks that robbed the Dow of roughly 430 points, with the
having been sparked by red-hot oil futures and sobering economic predictions by the
Before the new session's opening bell, Labor Department announced a sharp decline in the number of workers applying for unemployment benefits. Jobless claims in the week ended May 17 totaled 365,000, down 9,000 from the prior week and 8,000 lower than expected.
Also, investors were finding a bit of relief in commodities, which were at least briefly taking a break from their unremitting run-up over the past few weeks. Crude oil easily got past another round number this morning -- $135 a barrel -- but later retreated to a 93-cent loss at $132.24. Gold futures were down $8.60 to $920 an ounce.
At the same time, the U.S. dollar took back some of its recent losses, adding 0.4% against the euro to $1.5712 and firming by 0.8% against the yen at 103.95.
On the corporate side, Swiss bank
priced a $15.5 billion rights issue 31% below its last closing price on the Zurich exchange, but shares were still picking up 2.3% on the
New York Stock Exchange
, meanwhile, said it would
for the rest of the year, impacting its earlier forecast of returning to the black in 2009, as it particularly cuts back on gas-guzzling SUVs and large trucks. Instead, the company will focus on smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles as consumer demand shifts "quickly" in that direction. Shares were off 6.7%.
Separately, wholesale power-generation outfit
proposed an unsolicited takeout bid of $11 billion for rival
, which earlier this year dug itself out of bankruptcy. Shares of NRG slumped 4.2% as Calpine jumped 6.8%.
shares tumbled 10.5%, even though the video-game retailer bumped up its full-year guidance and topped analyst targets for the most recent quarter with more-than-doubled earnings of $62.1 million, or 37 cents a share.
, however, climbed 4.6% after nearly doubling its fiscal first-quarter profit with help from the sale of a joint venture. Adjusted earnings for the company, which operates the Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works retail chains, came in ahead of the average Wall Street estimate.
Among other positive retail earnings reports,
beat on both top and bottom lines for the fiscal first quarter, even as it guided under current-quarter projections. Jewelry purveyor
widened its quarterly loss, but the results were in line. Shares were up 2.9% and 10.1%, respectively.
On the other hand, bookseller
Barnes & Noble
cut its full-year guidance for same-store sales, or those for stores that have been open a year or more, to "slightly negative" from "slightly positive" even as it maintained its 2008 profit outlook. The company also widened its loss by a penny to 4 cents a share, though it was in line with expectations. The stock was off slightly at $29.88.
Dick's Sporting Goods
slid 17.97% after coming in a penny short of per-share expectations for the fiscal first quarter, and women's-apparel seller
reaffirmed its full-year outlook, which dips below the analyst consensus. Its shares lost 1.3%.
Treasury prices were plunging. The 10-year note was down 28/32 in price to yield 3.91%, and the 30-year bond sank 1-13/32 in price, yielding 4.63%.
Markets abroad were mixed. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.4% overnight, but Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index sank 1.6%. In Europe, the FTSE 100 tacked on 0.2%, and Germany's Xetra Dax climbed 0.4%. The Paris Cac was up marginally.