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Wall St. finishes higher in afternoon rally as oil gains

NEW YORK - Stocks enjoyed a late afternoon rally and closed higher on Thursday as an upturn in oil prices and a rally in Apple and Boeing shares helped offset some disappointing earnings and lingering questions over U.S. monetary policy.

Recent Business News

U.S. jobless claims drop sharply to near 15-year low

WASHINGTON - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits tumbled last week to its lowest level in nearly 15 years, adding to bullish signals on the labor market.

11:48am EST

Politics, mobile overshadow Alibaba's fairy-tale run

SAN FRANCISCO - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's underwhelming holiday quarter performance and an escalating war of words with a powerful Chinese industry regulator highlight two major risks to its seemingly fairy-tale ascent: politics and the shift to mobile commerce.

3:39pm EST

Exclusive: U.S. federal safety regulators seek Takata whistleblowers

- U.S. vehicle safety regulators want to find whistleblowers with knowledge “of possible defects or any wrongdoing” by Takata Corp, stepping up pressure on the air bag maker whose products are linked to five deaths and dozens of injuries.

Zero profit growth expected for U.S. companies in first quarter

NEW YORK - Falling oil prices, a soaring dollar and concern about weaker global demand have increasingly pessimistic analysts predicting Standard & Poor's 500 companies will see no earnings growth at all in the first quarter of 2015.

3:26pm EST

Ford profit beats estimates, but European outlook worsens

DETROIT - Ford Motor Co on Thursday said it would keep relying on North America for its profit this year as the No. 2 U.S. automaker signaled that losses in Europe would be more than previously forecast. | Video

4:51pm EST

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