U.S. stocks rally as earnings season rolls on.
The U.S. stock market rallied on Thursday, inching closer to record highs as earnings optimism outweighed dismal economic data.
All of Wall Street’s major indices reported gains on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) climbed 23.90 points, or 0.1%, to 27,025.88. The blue-chip index was up by as much as 109 points earlier in the day.
The large-cap S&P 500 Index (SPY) climbed 0.3% to close at 2,997.95. Nine of 11 primary sectors finished higher, with health care leading the pack. Real estate, industrials and communication services also posted above-average returns.
The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ) jumped 0.4% to 8,156.85.
A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (VXX) traded within a narrow range on Thursday, reflecting tepid trading conditions in the futures market. The so-called “fear index” reached a session low of 13.31 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average. It would eventually settle at 13.65, having declined 0.2%.
In economic data, U.S. industrial production declined more than expected last month, a sign that the manufacturing downturn was intensifying. Industrial output fell 0.4% on month and 0.1% annually, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday.
Separately, the Commerce Department said U.S. housing starts plunged 9.4% in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.256 million. Building permits were also down 2.7% to a seasonally adjusted 1.387 million.
The Final Word: The bulk of corporate earnings this week have been better than expected, but the quarterly outlook remains tilted to the downside. According to FactSet, Corporate America is heading for its third straight quarter of year-over-year declines.