U.S. stocks jumped early Thursday after companies from United Parcel Service to AT&T and Qualcomm increased profit forecasts.
UPS increased 6% as growing overseas demand and cost-cutting efforts improved the earnings outlook at the world’s largest package-delivery company. AT&T rose 3.4% as quarterly profit beat analysts’ estimates on demand for Apple’s iPhone. Qualcomm, the biggest maker of chips that run mobile phones, jumped 8.7% as it predicted higher selling prices for devices based on its technology.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 201.77, or 1.99%, at 10,322.30; the S&P 500 rose 24.08, or 2.25%, to close at 1,093.67; and the Nasdaq composite was up 58.56, or 2.68%, to end the session at 2,245.89. All numbers are preliminary.
Home builders advanced after purchases of existing houses dropped a less-than-forecast 5.1% to a 5.37 million annual rate, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed Thursday in Washington. The number of transactions will be “very low” in coming months, reflecting the end of a government incentive, the group’s chief economist said in a news conference.
The major indexes extended gains despite the Conference Board’s announcement that its index of leading indicators fell 0.2% in June from the prior month. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had, on average, expected a 0.3% drop.
The housing data and leading indicator reports overshadowed a jump in initial jobless claims of 37,000 to 464,000 in the week ended July 17, Labor Department figures showed. That exceeded the median projection of 445,000 from a survey of economists by Bloomberg News.