Stocks closed broadly higher on Wall Street on Thursday as investors welcomed another batch of encouraging quarterly results from big companies.
A breakthrough in negotiations over Britain’s exit from the European Union also helped put traders in a buying mood.
The gains erased the market’s modest losses from the day before. Despite a choppy week of trading, the benchmark S&P 500 index is on track for its second straight weekly gain.
Health care, communication services and industrial stocks drove much of the market’s gains. Technology was the only laggard. Smaller-company stocks outdid the rest of the market.
Investors have shifted their focus this week to the latest round of corporate earnings after weeks of turbulence on Wall Street as the market reacted to developments in the trade war between the U.S. and China.
Several companies have turned in surprisingly good third-quarter results and outlooks. That’s helped to ease some investors’ concerns over the economy, though red flags remain over the trade war.
The S&P 500 index gained 8.26 points, or 0.3%, to 2,997.95. The index is within 0.1% of its all-time high set in July.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly slipped into the red, but managed to add 23.90 points, or 0.1, to 27,025.88. The Nasdaq rose 32.67 points, or 0.4%, to 8,156.85.
Traders favored smaller-company stocks. The Russell 2000 index climbed 16.79, or 1.1%, to 1,541.84.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.75% from 1.74% late Wednesday.