NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Thursday after quarterly results from insurer Travelers and regional bank PNC Financial gave a boost to financial stocks.
Financials were among the top gainers after insurer Travelers Cos Inc TRV.N posted gains after it raised its full-year outlook and regional bank PNC Financial Services Group Inc PNC.N shares jumped 12.7 percent to $50.65 on far better-than-expected quarterly earnings.
Adding to the positive tone, New York Fed President William Dudley said the Federal Reserve may not lose money on the emergency programs it put in place to fight the financial crisis.
After the closing bell, online retailer Amazon.com AMZN.O posted earnings above expectations and its shares shot up almost 15 percent to $107.38 in extended trading.
The market has been supported by consistent news of better- than-expected earnings and fairly good guidance, according to Robert Lutts, chief investment officer of Cabot Money Management in Salem, Massachusetts.
“Regional banks came out with OK results. They talked about deterioration in assets definitely at a slower pace and there were indications some parts of the loan books were stabilizing and improving,” Lutts said.
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI gained 131.95 points, or 1.33 percent, to 10,081.31. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX rose 11.51 points, or 1.06 percent, to 1,092.91. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC added 14.56 points, or 0.68 percent, to 2,165.29.
SNAPPING UP J CREW AND BUILDERS, TOO
Shares of J Crew Group Inc JCG.N soared 15.2 percent to $43.49 after the clothing retailer raised its outlook for the third and fourth quarters, citing stronger-than-expected sales and margin trends expected to last throughout the year.
J Crew led retailers higher, with the S&P retail index .RLX up 1.7 percent.
The New York Times Co NYT.N beat quarterly revenue and profit forecasts because of cost cuts and higher newspaper prices even as advertising sales fell, driving its shares up 22.5 percent to $10.72.
Shares of home builders also ranked among the top gainers, with the Dow Jones U.S. home construction index .DJUSHB up 5.3 percent. Shares of KB Home KBH.N jumped 7.5 percent to $16.17 and Pulte Homes PHM.N gained 6.5 percent to $10.44.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said earlier this week the administration would decide in coming weeks whether it backs an extension of the current tax credit for first-time home buyers, set to expire on November 30.
Volume was moderate on the New York Stock Exchange, with about 1.32 billion shares changing hands, below last year’s estimated daily average of 1.49 billion. On the Nasdaq, about 2.30 billion shares traded, slightly above last year’s daily average of 2.28 billion.
Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a ratio of about 2 to 1, while on the Nasdaq, nearly eight stocks rose for every five that fell.
Editing by Jan Paschal
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