Stocks Up Following Strong Earnings

NEW YORK (AP) -- Strong earnings are sending U.S. stocks higher Friday at the end of a choppy week of trading. Consumer products maker Procter & Gamble is surging after reporting strong sales of beauty products in its latest quarter, while credit card company American Express and payment processor PayPal also jumped. Technology and internet companies are on the rebound after some recent losses.

While stocks are on track to finish the week higher, most of the market's recent gains have been swiftly followed by losses. The S&P 500 hasn't risen by two days in a row since Sept. 20, the last day of a three-day string of gains. That was also the day of the benchmark index's most recent record high. It's down 4.6 percent since then.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index gained 20 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,788 after it fell 1.4 percent on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 162 points, or 0.7 percent, to 25,552. The Nasdaq composite climbed 77 points, or 1 percent, to 7,562. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks edged up 5 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,566.

The S&P 500 has fallen for three weeks in a row, but is on track to rise 0.8 percent this week.

LOOKING GOOD: The world's largest consumer products maker is on track for its biggest gain in a decade. Procter & Gamble said sales of fabric and home care products edged higher in its latest quarter while beauty products revenue jumped 20 percent. The maker of Tide detergent, Pampers diapers and Gillette razors posted a bigger profit than analysts expected and its stock added 7.5 percent to $86.32.

PayPal surpassed expectations in the third quarter and also announced a partnership with American Express. PayPal surged 11 percent to $86.02. American Express said spending on its credit cards increased and its results were better than analysts expected. American Express gained 4.1 percent to $107.05.

Ebay, PayPal's former corporate parent, slid 6.9 percent to $29.37.

MARKET LEADERS: Amazon rose 1.8 percent to $1,802.32 while Microsoft jumped 1.6 percent to $110.28 and Apple added 1.4 percent to $219.03. The stocks have soared in recent years, which helped make them the three most valuable U.S. companies, but they've struggled lately as investors worry about economic growth in the U.S. and the possibility that trade tensions and rising interest rates will stem that growth.

BONDS: Bond prices slipped. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.20 percent from 3.17 percent.

ASIA: China said economic growth sank to a post-financial crisis low of 6.5 percent in the third quarter. Chinese finance officials launched a media blitz to shore up confidence in the country's sagging stock market. China's economy has gradually slowed for years, even before a trade dispute between Beijing and U.S. President Donald Trump led to higher tariffs. The Chinese government tightened controls on lending last year to rein in a debt boom, but that, too, has affected the economy.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.4 percent Seoul's Kospi added 0.4 percent. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 shed 0.6 percent.

EUROPE: Germany's DAX lost 0.2 percent and France's CAC 40 sank 0.6 percent. London's FTSE 100 gained 0.3 percent and the FTSE MIB continued to slip tensions between European Union officials and Italy's new government affected Italian stocks. Government bond prices slipped slightly and yields rose.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 1.3 percent to $69.51 per barrel in New York 5. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 1.6 percent to $80.62 a barrel in London.

CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 112.56 yen from 112.20 yen. The euro rose to $1.1487 from $1.1465.

(BE)