Strong Earnings Lift Stocks Higher

NEW YORK (AP) -- Big gains for Facebook, Verizon Communications and other companies reporting healthier-than-expected results nudged U.S. stock indexes a bit further into record territory on Thursday. Oil's recent rally slowed, Treasury yields inched higher and stock markets round the world were mixed.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,480, as of 10 a.m. Eastern time, to extend its record run. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 54, or 0.3 percent, to 21,765, and the Nasdaq composite rose 23, or 0.4 percent, to 6,446.

Slightly more stocks fell on the New York Stock Exchange than rose, and the Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks dipped 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,441.

ADD A LINE: Verizon jumped $2.60, or 5.8 percent, to $47 after reporting stronger revenue for the latest quarter than analysts expected. Many more new wireless phone customers signed up for Verizon service than Wall Street had forecast.

Verizon's report follows another encouraging one from AT&T, which on Wednesday reported stronger-than-expected earnings.

Telecom stocks as a group in the S&P 500 rose 3.8 percent, by far the biggest gain among the 11 sectors that make up the index.

LIKE IT: Facebook rose $8.77, or 5.3 percent, to $174.38 after it reported stronger-than-expected earnings. Its advertising revenue rose by nearly half from a year earlier.

BLOCK IT: Twitter dropped $2.11, or 10.8 percent, to $17.50. It reported better-than-expected quarterly results, but it also said that its monthly average user base did not grow from the prior quarter.

FALLING: Johnson Controls had the biggest loss among stocks in the S&P 500, down $3.67, or 8.5 percent, to $39.65. It reported weaker-than-expected revenue for the latest quarter and trimmed the upper end of the range for its forecast for full-year earnings per share.

YIELDS: The 10-year yield rose to 2.30 percent from 2.28 percent late Wednesday. The two-year yield inched up to 1.36 percent from 1.35 percent, and the 30-year yield climbed to 2.92 percent from 2.89 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar inched up to 111.34 Japanese yen from 111.30 yen late Wednesday. The euro dipped to $1.1701 from $1.1725, and the British pound rose to $1.3113 from $1.3100.

COMMODITIES: The price of oil slowed its rapid ascent from the last three days. , Benchmark U.S. crude ticked up by 5 cents to $48.78 per barrel, and it's close to its highest price since the start of June. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 12 cents to $51.22 per barrel.

Gold rose $13.60 to $1,263.00 per ounce, silver gained 32 cents to $16.78 per ounce and copper added 2 cents to $2.89 per pound.

AROUND THE WORLD: Asian markets mostly rose, with the Japanese Nikkei 225 index up 0.1 percent. Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.7 percent, South Korea's Kospi added 0.4 percent and the S&P ASX 200 of Australia climbed 0.2 percent.

In Europe, France's CAC 40 dipped 0.1 percent, Germany's DAX fell 0.9 percent and the FTSE 100 in London dropped 0.3 percent.

(BE)