11:40 AM New York – U.S. stocks advanced after a string of positive earnings from large companies. The dollar fell to a 23-month low against the euro. Weekly jobless claims fell. Trade deficit in August eased 0.4% on flat exports and imports but imports from China hit a new record.
U.S. market indexes advanced after Ford Motor, 3M, AT&T and Citrix Systems reported better than expected earnings.
S&P 500 index increased 0.2% to 1,750.56 and Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 0.4% to 3,923.89.
The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds edged higher to 2.488% from a 4-month low of 2.482% at close on Wednesday.
U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Fall
Weekly jobless claims declined in last week by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 350,000, according to the data released by Department of Labor today. The claims were ahead of expectations.
The four-week moving average for new claims increased 10,750 to 348,250.
The number of people filing for continuing jobless claims after the first week decreased 8,000 to 2.87 million in the week ending on October 12.
U.S. Trade Deficit at $38.8 Billion
Exports and imports in August month were nearly flat, the Commerce Department said today in a report.
Exports of goods and services declined 0.1% to $189.2 billion and trade gap in the month increased 0.4% to $38.8 billion. Imports in the month were flat.
The government agency also revised its July trade deficit data to $38.6 billion from the previous estimate of $39.15 billion.
European Markets Advance
World markets in Europe and Asia also advanced after a private manufacturing survey in China showed an expansion.
China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index tracked by HSBC and Markit in October increased to a 7-month high of 50.9 from 50.2 in September. The survey data are preliminary and will be revised later in three weeks.
DAX index in Frankfurt increased 0.5% to 8968 and CAC 40 index in Paris advanced 0.3% to 4,270. FTSE 100 index gained 0.5% to 6,712.
The latest survey of manufacturing activities in the euro zone showed a slight decline in rate of growth.
Composite Purchasing Managers Index in the euro zone tracked by Markit declined to 51.5 in October from 52.2 in September.
European banks were also in focus after the European Central Bank outlined metrics for a new round of banking stress tests.
U.S. Stocks in Review