NEW YORK, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) - US stocks ended higher on Thursday amid a series reports of robust corporate earnings.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 23.90 points, or 0.09 percent, to 27,025.88. The S&P 500 increased 8.26 points, or 0.28 percent, to 2,997.95. The Nasdaq Composite Index rallied 32.67 points, or 0.40 percent, to 8,156.85.
The majority of the blue-chip stocks in the Dow extended gains around market close, with shares of UnitedHealth Group and Walgreens Boots Alliance up 2.82 percent and 2.34 percent, respectively, leading the winners.
Ten of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors traded higher around the closing bell, with the health care sector up 0.76 percent, leading the gainers.
Another batch of companies continued to underpin the market with stronger-than-expected earnings in the third quarter, including Netflix and Morgan Stanley, which gained 2.47 percent and 1.52 percent, respectively, around market close.
So far, over 76 percent of the S&P 500 companies have reported earnings results that beat market estimates, according to FactSet.
On the economic front, US weekly jobless claims rose modestly last week, indicating a tightening labor market amid worries over slowing economic growth.
The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits increased 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 214,000 in the week ended Oct. 12, the Department of Labor reported on Thursday.
The 4-week moving average was 214,750, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week's unrevised average of 213,750.