Stock Market Today: Stocks Get Support From Upbeat Earnings; Facebook Surges

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. benchmark stock indices were nudging higher Thursday, with the broader market on track for a third day of gains as international markets climbed on upbeat manufacturing news and earnings season continued to gain positive traction despite some misses.

The U.S. jobless claims report on Thursday also supported the higher market open. Initial jobless claims for the week of July 19 fell by 19,000 to their lowest level since Feb. 18, 2006, at a smaller-than-expected 284,000.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.04% to 17,093.24. The S&P 500 was rising 0.1% to 1,989.06. The Nasdaq was up 0.14% to 4,480.08. U.S. stocks closed mixed Wednesday, with the S&P 500 logging its 71st closing all-time high for this bull market since the market bottom on March 9, 2009.

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"The market continues to remind investors that the trend remains their friend, as it focuses on earnings growth while shrugging off global hostility concerns and the downward revision to second-quarter GDP growth estimates from above 3.5% to below 3% currently," wrote Sam Stovall, managing director of U.S. equity research at S&P Capital IQ.

Stovall noted that the market may be indicating that investors should be encouraged that modest growth will likely keep inflation in check and the Federal Reserve on hold as far as rates are concerned.

S&P Capital IQ estimated that second-quarter S&P 500 earnings growth should to come in at 7.3% year-over-year, with earnings per share of $28.89. That's up from its prior day estimate of 7% growth with EPS of $28.80.

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