A mix of good news about profits and housing sparked a broad-based stock rally in the U.S. Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up nearly 200 points and crossing above 9000 for the first time since January.
The blue-chip average was recently up 172 points, or 2%, at 9054. AT&T rose more than 3% and 3M was up 6%. Both announced declines in second-quarter profits that were smaller than analysts expected. Microsoft was up 2.8% and American Express was up 2.7%. They are due to report after the closing bell.
Earnings have largely been at the crux of the Dow's more than week-long crusade back above 9000. While the index snapped a 7-day winning streak on Wednesday, it is up more than 5% this month and has tacked on nearly 1000 points in two weeks. Should the Dow close at its current level it would mark a new high for 2009. (more)