Stocks Rise on Wall St in Midday Trade

(AP) -- Stocks edged higher in midday trading on Wall Street Thursday, potentially setting the market up to notch more record highs.

The S&P 500 rose 0.2% as of 11:51 a.m. Eastern. The benchmark index is coming off of five straight gains and a succession of record closes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 96 points, or 0.3%, to 36,060 and the Nasdaq rose 0.4%.

Investors continued to focus on the latest round of corporate earnings. Slightly more stocks within the S&P 500 were falling than rising, but big gains from outsized technology stocks offset losses elsewhere in the broader market.

Chipmaker Qualcomm jumped 11.7% after it gave investors an encouraging profit forecast and reported strong quarterly results. Other chipmakers also gained ground. Nvidia rose 8.9% and Advanced Micro Devices rose 2.6%.

A mix of companies that rely on direct consumer spending for goods and services also made solid gains. Booking Holdings rose 2.6% after it beat Wall Street's third-quarter profit and revenue forecasts.

Bond yields fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.53% from 1.58% late Wednesday. The lower yields weighed down banks, which rely on higher yields to charge more lucrative interest on loans. Bank of America fell 2.2%.

Solid earnings and financial forecasts helped video game maker Electronic Arts gain 3% and Take-Two Interactive rise 2.4%.

Moderna sank 18.5% after cutting its forecast for how many vaccine deliveries it expects to make this year. Merck climbed 2.6% after British authorities approved its antiviral pill.

A key concern for investors amid the latest round of earnings has been the impact of supply chain problems on corporate profits and operations. Roku is the latest company to suffer because of those disruptions and higher costs. The video streaming company fell 6.3% after giving investors a weak sales forecast and warning that supply chain problems will likely continue into 2022.

Investors received an encouraging update on the employment market's recovery. The Labor Department reported on Thursday that the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell to another pandemic low last week, another sign the job market is healing after last year's coronavirus recession. The agency will release its more detailed jobs report for October on Friday.