NEW YORK (July 18, 2013)--Stocks closed at record levels Thursday after reports of earnings gains at major U.S. companies and good news on the economy encouraged investors.
Unemployment claims fell and manufacturing surged in the mid-Atlantic region.
Morgan Stanley rose 4 percent to $27.70 after reporting sharply higher earnings and a share buyback.
Energy stocks jumped after oil shot to a 16-month high.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 78 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 15,548 Thursday, led by UnitedHealth Group and IBM.
The Standard & Poor's 500 rose eight, or 0.5 percent, to end at 1,689.
The Nasdaq edged up a point to end at 3,611, held back by Intel and eBay, which reported disappointing results.
Two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange where volume was average at 3.4 billion shares.