A better-than-expected government report showing unemployment claims dropped to 339,000 last week from 355,000 in the prior week provided a boost to stocks Thursday, which also were bid higher as investors digested another influx of earnings reports.
The Nasdaq led the way, up 0.62% to 3289.99, while the S&P 500 rose 0.4% to close at 1585.16 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average improved by 0.17% to finish the day at 14700.80.
Thinning the Dow’s gains was Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) which kicked off the day by announcing both an earnings beat and a dividend increase, but still ended as one of the index’s few losers. Revenues came in lower than expected, and the earnings increase was attributable to recent stock buybacks. XOM finished down around 1.5%.
3M (NYSE:MMM) also took a beating, producing a Dow-worst 2.5% loss after missing earnings and revenue expectations and lowering its 2013 profit outlook.
Also going the wrong way was social gamemaker Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA), which fell nearly 7% after the company issued a gloomy forecast.
On the other side of the ledger, Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) impressed the Street on the earnings front and was bid up 5%. UPS (NYSE:UPS) also headed higher, by 2%, thanks to a nice bump in its top and bottom lines.
In other corporate news, Verizon (NYSE:Reuters reported that the company hired advisers to look at a bid to buy Vodafone‘s (NASDAQ:VOD) remaining stake in Verizon Wireless.
Finally, after the bell, Amazon was trading slightly higher after its Q1 earnings report. The company’s profits did improve by 22% year-over-year to $16.07 billion, but earnings plunged 37% to $82 million. EPS of 18 cents per share did clear the analyst community’s bar.
Earnings notables for Friday include Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Goodyear Tire (NASDAQ:GT), and Burger King (NYSE:BKW).
- Angie’s List (NASDAQ:ANGI): Up 28.9% ($5.81) to $25.92.
- RR Donnelley (NASDAQ:RRD): Up 15.2% ($1.87) to $12.65.
- Cadence Design (NASDAQ:CDNS): Up 7.9% ($1.00) to $13.72.
- Safeway (NYSE:SWY): Down 13.9% ($3.94) to $24.32
- Citrix Systems (NASDAQ:CTXS): Down 7% ($4.72) to $62.94
- Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM): Down 5.4% ($3.59) to $62.44. (Read more here)
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he was long XOM.