Updated from 9:36 a.m. EDTU.S. stocks were undulating Thursday, as new data showed an increase in home foreclosures and a rise in unemployment and as companies released another set of cautious earnings statements. Recently, the major indices were near their session highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was gaining 185 points to 8704, and the S&P 500 added 17 points to 913. The Nasdaq was adding 15 points to 1631. On Wednesday, stocks sold off steadily as many companies, citing an impending economic downturn, cautioned investors not to expect much in coming months. The new day's economic data lent support to U.S. companies' cautious prognostications. The Department of Labor's jobless numbers for the week ended Oct. 18 unexpectedly rose by 15,000 to 478,000. Economists were expecting 468,000 unemployment claims for the week. In addition, home foreclosures were up 71% year over year to 766,000 for the third quarter as home prices declined, according to RealtyTrac. Separately, the Federal Housing and Finance Agency said its home price index slipped 0.6% from July to August and fell 5.9% year over year. As the economic outlook worsened, the government looked ready to aid homeowners. The Bush administration is mulling a $40 billion program to prevent foreclosures, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. News from large U.S. firms was corroborating the pessimism. The Journal reported that Goldman Sachs ( GS) is planning on cutting its workforce by 10% as it copes with the credit crunch. General Motors ( GM) announced it would also be reducing its headcount and temporarily cutting employee benefits in an effort to cut costs. Fellow automaker Chrysler said it would close a plant in Newark, Del., and eliminate a shift at a plant in Ohio as it sheds 1,800 workers.