NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks finished Thursday up as the latest round of economic data supported the view that the U.S. economy is steadily improving. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 28.23 points, or 0.22%, to 12,980.30. The S&P 500 increased 8.41 points to 1,374.09 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 22.08 points to 2,988.97. Breadth within the Dow was positive with 17 of the index's 30 companies posting gains. The biggest percentage gainers among the blue chips on Thursday were Pfizer ( PFE), Bank of America ( BAC), Microsoft ( MSFT) and JPMorgan Chase ( JPM).
Pfizer shares rose 1.78% to $21.50. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has pushed back its ruling on Eliquis, an anti-clotting drug jointly developed by Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY), The Associated Press reported. TheStreet Ratings gives Pfizer an A- grade with a buy rating and a $25.27 price target. Shares of Bank of America rose 1.76% to $8.11. The bank plans to implement a fee for basic checking account users unless they agree to bank online and maintain specific balances, according to The Wall Street Journal. Bank of America gets a C- grade from TheStreet Ratings and a hold rating. JPMorgan Chase shares rose 2.89% to $40.37. TheStreet Ratings gives the bank a B grade with a buy rating and a $44.46 price target. Shares of Microsoft increased 1.71% to $32.28. The stock reached a 52-week high on Thursday of $32.39. Microsoft gets an A grade from TheStreet Rating with a buy rating and $36.23 price target. The biggest percentage decliners in the index Merck ( MRK) and Procter & Gamble ( PG). Merck shares fell 1.02% to $37.78. TheStreet Ratings gives Merck an A- grade with a buy rating and $44.48 price target. Shares of Procter & Gamble dropped 1.42% to $66.66. Procter & Gamble gets an A- grade from TheStreet Ratings with a buy rating and $76.72 price target. -- Written by Alexandra Zendrian in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Alexandra Zendrian >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to Alexandra Zendrian.