U.S. stocks moved higher in morning trading Thursday as investors welcomed encouraging earnings from McDonald’s, eBay and other companies. The market also got a lift from a rally in European stocks after the head of the European Central Bank said the bank will consider expanding its stimulus program in December.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 218 points, or 1.3 percent, to 17,387 as of 11:05 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 26 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,045. The Nasdaq gained 73 points, or 1.5 percent, to 4,913.
E-GAINER: EBay jumped 11.2 percent a day after the e-commerce company reported results that came in well ahead of what analysts were expecting. The stock rose $2.72 to $26.93.
HAPPY MEAL: McDonald’s climbed 7.3 percent after the world’s largest burger chain said its sales increased in the third quarter. McDonald’s shares added $7.46 to $110.
FEELING SICK: Several health care stocks were trading lower. Tenet Healthcare slumped $4.81, or 13 percent, to $30. HCA Holdings fell $2.83, or 4 percent, to $68.37, while fellow hospital owner Universal Health Services slid $11.02, or 8.8 percent, to $114.45.
FALLING SHORT: Homebuilder PulteGroup fell 6.5 percent after the company reported third-quarter earnings and revenue that fell short of Wall Street’s forecasts. The builder shed $1.26 to $18.19.
CREDIT CRIMPED: Shares in American Express tumbled 5.7 percent a day after the credit card issuer reported a 16 percent drop in profits, missing analysts’ estimates. American Express said it was hurt by higher expenses and the strong U.S. dollar. It also cut its full-year forecast. The stock slid $4.33 to $72.18.
EUROPEAN MARKETS: Germany’s DAX rose 2.5 percent, while the CAC-40 in France rose 2.3 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares gained 0.6 percent.
ASIA’S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index finished up 1.4 percent following a 3 percent slide Wednesday. Elsewhere in Asia stock markets closed mostly lower. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.6 percent and South Korea’s Kospi dropped 1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.6 percent.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 23 cents to $45.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 35 cents to $48.20 a barrel in London.
BONDS AND CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.04 percent from 2.03 percent the day before. The euro fell to $1.1160 while the dollar rose to 120.37 yen.