Wall Street Ends Higher

The major averages in New York rebound moderately after the prior session's selloff. Wal-Mart rises, but Gap falls. Crude oil climbs again, and Treasury prices are sharply higher.
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Updated from 3:45 p.m. EDT

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

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

added 52 points, or 0.4%, to 12,867, and the

S&P 500

was up 5 points, or 0.4%, at 1398. The

Nasdaq Composite

tacked on 13 points, or 0.5%, at 2451.

"You've got a combination of same-store sales with some upside surprises and higher energy prices," said Art Hogan, chief market analyst with Jefferies. "This is one of those days where there are not enough catalysts to hold onto a 100-point gain."

The Real Story Wrap: May 8

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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 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. Still, the stock was down 2.2% to $17.84.

In earnings-related moves,

Toyota

(TM) - Get Report

shares were sagging 4.1% 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 1.3%.

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 stock was up $1.50, or 15.1%, at $11.46.

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 finished slightly higher after spending time in both positive and negative territory. The June contract ended up 16 cents at $123.69 a barrel in New York. Gold was up $10.90 to finish at $882.10 an ounce.

Among U.S. Treasury securities, the 10-year note was jumping 19/32 in price, pushing the yield down to 3.80%. The 30-year bond was rising 24/32 in price to yield 4.56%.

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.