Stocks are rising to new highs in afternoon trading Thursday after solid earnings reports from several companies. Banks and industrial companies gained the most. The British pound surged after the Bank of England held off on cutting interest rates.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 146 points, or 0.8 percent, to 18,518 at 12:45 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 13 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,166. The Nasdaq composite increased 32 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,038.
IN THE BANK: JPMorgan Chase jumped $1.58, or 2.5 percent to $64.74 after topping second-quarter earnings projections on higher trading revenue. Citigroup and Wells Fargo report on Friday.
GET IN LINE: Shares of the Japanese messaging app Line surged 25 percent on their first day of trading, a gain of $8.51 to $41.35.
YUM RESULTS: KFC owner Yum Brands surged $3.35, or 4 percent, to $89.09 after reporting better-than-expected profit despite soft sales at some of its brands.
DELTA RISING: Delta Air Lines shot up $1.18, or 3 percent, to $40.74 after reporting second-quarter profits that beat expectations. Lower fuel prices have helped airlines earn big profits.
BRITISH FOCUS: Stocks in London gave up gains after the Bank of England surprised investors with its decision not to cut rates despite signs the British economy has weakened in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union. The FTSE 100 slipped 0.2 percent.
THE QUOTE: “The initial earnings reports are good, and optimism is starting to creep into the market,” said Brad Sorensen, director of the Schwab Center for Financial Research. The selling in the U.S. after the British vote, he added, was “a little overdone.”
POUND GAINS: The Bank of England’s decision not to act sent investors into the British currency, pushing it up to $1.3343 from $1.3160 a day earlier.
REST OF EUROPE: Germany’s DAX was up 1.4 percent while the CAC-40 in France rose 1.2 percent.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei closed nearly 1 percent higher as the yen weakened against the dollar. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.1 percent. South Korea’s KOSPI was up 0.2 percent.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 69 cents to $45.44 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a standard for international oil prices, added 78 cents to $47.04 a barrel in London.
BONDS AND CURRENCIES: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.53 percent from 1.48 percent. The euro slipped to $1.1108 from $1.1114 and the dollar rose to 105.67 yen from 104.33 yen.