Updated from 10:01 a.m. EDT
The major U.S. stock indices were off their highs but still marking gains Thursday as traders waded through a pile of earnings statements and a mass of economic data.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was adding 34 points at 11,283, and the
was tacking on 6 points at 1251. The
was up 8 points at 2293.
On Wednesday, the blue-chip indices each climbed 2.5%, and the Nasdaq jumped 3.1% as crude oil prices plummeted and encouraging earnings from
at least temporarily assuaged concerns about the financial sector.
With the arrival of the new session, corporate earnings were again playing a large role in the market's moves. Telecom firm
reported in-line second-quarter earnings and raised its forecast for 2008.
Also out were numbers from Dow stocks
. All three topped estimates.
In the financial space,
likewise beat the Street's expectations, as did asset manager
announced a second-quarter profit that was down 6.6% from a year ago but just edged ahead of analyst expectations, per Thomson Reuters.
Not all the news was so encouraging.
swung to a second-quarter loss due in part to the sale of its manufactured-housing portfolio, and
Bank of New York Mellon
saw falling profits that left it shy of Wall Street's expectations.
In technology, online auction house
suffered on lowered earnings guidance for the current quarter and downgrades from Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs. Lehman Brothers and Jefferies piled on, lowering their price targets for eBay.
also reported. Both companies beat analyst profit expectations. Reliance also announced an offering of 6.75 million common shares.
Looking at commodities, crude oil was lately up $1.91 at $136.51 a barrel. Gold was gaining $5.90 to $968.60 an ounce.
On the data front, building permits rose 11.6% in June to an annualized rate of 1.1 million, ahead of economists' predictions. June housing starts rose 9.1% to an annualized rate of 1.1 million units.
Both increases owed largely to a change in New York building codes. Without that change, new building projects would have declined 4%. Analysts were expecting a rate of 965,000 units.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department's reading on jobless claims for the week ended July 12 rose by 18,000, less than expected, to a seasonally adjusted number of 366,000.
July regional manufacturing index came in at -16.4, up from -17.1 in May but below the consensus estimate of -15, indicating ongoing weakness in the region.
Treasury prices were edging downward. The 10-year note was falling 10/32 in price to yield 3.98%, and the 30-year was 4/32 lower, yielding 4.59%. The dollar was falling vs. the euro and pound, but gaining on the yen.
Overseas markets were broadly climbing. The FTSE in London, the DAX in Frankfurt, Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng were all trading in the green.