The Nasdaq is up about 5.7 percent over the past six sessions, its
best six-day advance since December 2011. Both the Dow and S&P 500
rose for the fifth session out of the last six.
Indexes opened lower but gained throughout the session, although
Cisco Systems <CSCO.O>, which sank after warning about a slump in
revenue, limited the Dow's advance.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose
last week while January retail sales fell and December retail sales
were revised lower.
"Investors have restored some enthusiasm for equities that was lost
in the first few weeks of the year, and with weather seeming to be
such a factor, they're able to shrug this off," said Mark Luschini,
chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in
Dow component Cisco fell 2.5 percent to $22.27 as one of the biggest
drags on all three major U.S. indexes. The network-gear maker
forecast a 6 to 8 percent drop in revenue in the current quarter.
"Cisco has been having problems with competition, so I don't view
that as indicative of tech in the aggregate or consumer spending,"
said Luschini, who helps oversee $63 billion in assets. "This is
company-specific, which is allowing other tech to shrug off that
The S&P tech sector <.SPLRCT> rose 0.9 percent, boosted by Facebook
Inc <FB.O> and SanDisk Corp <SNDK.O>.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 63.65 points, or 0.40
percent, at 16,027.59. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up
10.57 points, or 0.58 percent, at 1,829.83. The Nasdaq Composite
Index <.IXIC> was up 39.38 points, or 0.94 percent, at 4,240.67.
Comcast Corp <CMCSA.O> said it would buy Time Warner Cable Inc <TWC.N>
for $45.2 billion in an all-stock deal that combines the two largest
U.S. cable operators.
Time Warner Cable shares rose 7 percent to $144.81 while Comcast
shed 4.1 percent to $52.97. Shares of Charter Communications Inc <CHTR.O>,
which had also pursued Time Warner Cable, fell 6.3 percent to
A deadly winter storm moved north along the East Coast of the United
States on Thursday, bringing heavy snow, sleet and rain across the
Washington, D.C., and New York areas, grounding flights and shutting
[to top of second column]
A scheduled U.S. Senate hearing with Federal Reserve Chair Janet
Yellen on Thursday was postponed due to the snow. Yellen's testimony
Tuesday helped fuel strong gains on Wall Street.
Whole Foods Market Inc <WFM.O> lost 7.2 percent to $51.46. The
largest U.S. organic and natural food retailer stunned investors on
Wednesday by cutting its 2014 sales forecast for the second time in
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co <GT.O> surged 11.5 percent to $26.94 it
posted a higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Thursday and
said it had fully funded its hourly U.S. pension plan.
Of the 382 companies in the S&P 500 that reported earnings through
Thursday morning, 67.5 percent beat profit expectations,
above the 63 percent average since 1994 and slightly above the 67
percent rate for the past four quarters, according to Thomson
After the market closed, American International Group Inc <AIG.N>
rose 3.2 percent after it reported results and raised its dividend.
Brocade Communications <BRCD.O> shares jumped 7.7 percent after the
Avon Products Inc <AVP.N> shed 2.9 percent to $14.62. The beauty
products company said it may pay as much as $132 million to settle a
U.S. bribery investigation into its efforts to develop new markets
About 5.96 billion shares traded on all U.S. platforms, according to
BATS exchange data. About 70 percent of companies traded on both the
New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq closed higher.
(Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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