U.S. Stocks Regain Upward Traction

The major indices were holding their gains after some early flat-lining. Toyota is among the individual losers.
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Updated from 12:59 p.m. EDT

Stocks in the U.S. were holding to the upside Thursday as traders absorbed a swath of retail data, analyst calls and more earnings.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was adding 60 points to 12,874, and the

S&P 500

was up 6 points at 1398. The

Nasdaq

was tacking on 16 points at 2455.

An initially tentative rebound from the previous down session was holding as investors sorted through a

new round of retail data

Thursday morning.

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

was among the gainers, rising about 1% after saying its April same-store sales climbed 3.2% last month, excluding fuel sales, a result that topped expectations.

Total sales for the month climbed 9.8% to $29.18 billion. The world's biggest retailer was just one of many U.S. chain stores reporting numbers during the morning.

Costco

(COST) - Get Report

said comps were up 8% last month, but

Limited

(LTD)

had a same-store sales decline of 5%.

BJ's Wholesale

(BJ) - Get Report

had an increase of 17.8% in comps, and at

McDonald's

(MCD) - Get Report

,

same-store sales rose 5% worldwide last month

.

Gap

(GPS) - Get Report

was also a positive, lifting its first-quarter profit forecast.

In earnings-related moves,

Toyota

(TM) - Get Report

shares were sagging 3.9% on the specter of an annual profit decline. The automaker Thursday reported a

28% drop in net income

for the fiscal fourth quarter and said it expects its current fiscal year profit to drop 27%.

Ford

(TM) - Get Report

, meanwhile, was trading up 3.1%.

On the other hand,

Crocs

(CROX) - Get Report

was climbing on positive guidance. The plastic-shoe maker reported after the bell Wednesday posted adjusted first-quarter earnings that fell a penny shy of Wall Street estimates, but at the same time the company reaffirmed full-year guidance for EPS between $1.70 and $1.80, ahead of the Street's prediction of $1.60. The small-cap stock was up 17% at $11.68.

Among the analyst actions, Merrill Lynch downgraded a number of airlines, cutting

Delta

(DAL) - Get Report

,

UAL

(UAUA)

,

US Airways

(LCC)

,

AMR

(AMR)

and

Contintental

(CAL) - Get Report

to neutral from buy.

Crude oil, after an initial foray higher, was retreating 8 cents at $123.45 a barrel in New York. Gold was up $12 at $883.20 an ounce.

In Treasuries, the 10-year was yielding 3.83%.

Overseas, stocks were mostly to the downside. Tokyo's Nikkei lost 1.1% to 13,943, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.6% to 25,450. In Europe, the London FTSE edged lower to 6260, and the Paris Cac was off 0.5% at 5049. Frankfurt's Xetra Dax shed 0.4% to 7051.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.