Tech Leads Stocks Higher Midday

(AP) -- U.S. stocks veered higher in midday trading Thursday after shaking off a wobbly start. Technology companies and banks accounted for much of the market's gain, outweighing losses in materials and other sectors. Investors were sizing up the latest company earnings and outlooks. Bond prices fell, sending yields higher. Crude oil prices rose.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 9 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,833 as of 12 p.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 121 points, or 0.5 percent, to 26,270. The Nasdaq increased 16 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,427. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,576.

THE QUOTE: "From an earnings standpoint, the season has been really good and really strong," said David Lyon, global investment specialist at J.P. Morgan Private Bank. "While the numbers look good, there have been a couple of weak spots, but overall, when we look back, it's going to be a really strong earnings season."

REPORTING IN: Investors continued to sift through a raft of corporate earnings reports. About a third of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported results so far this earnings season, and some 65 percent of those have delivered both earnings and revenue that exceeded financial analysts' expectations, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

CHIPPER RESULTS: Qorvo jumped 12.9 percent after the chipmaker served up solid quarterly results. The stock gained $9.29 to $81.06.

SHAREWORTHY: Facebook climbed 4.4 percent a day after the social media company posted strong quarter results. The stock added $8.18 to $195.07.

BID ON THIS: Shares in eBay vaulted 14.5 percent after the e-commerce company gave a strong forecast for the current quarter. The stock was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500, picking up $5.89 to $46.47.

DELIVERING A DUD: United Parcel Service slumped 5.7 percent after it said that higher costs affected its business in the fourth quarter. The stock was down $7.29 to $120.03.

OUTBID: PayPal slid 6.1 percent after eBay said it would move to a different payment processor. PayPal shares gave up $5.22 to $80.10.

FUDGED IT: Hershey shares fell 5.4 percent after the company's latest quarterly results fell short of Wall Street's expectations. The stock lost $6 to $104.33.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 55 cents to $65.28 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 26 cents to $69.15 per barrel in London.

BOND YIELDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.75 percent from 2.71 percent late Wednesday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to $109.52 yen from 109.11 yen on Wednesday. The euro strengthened to $1.2478 from $1.2410.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Major stock indexes in Europe declined. Germany's DAX lost 1.4 percent, while France's CAC 40 slid 0.5 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.6 percent. Markets in Asia finished mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 1.7 percent and South Korea's Kospi added 0.1 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 0.8 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.9 percent.

(BE)