Wall Street closed sharply higher on Thursday, snapping a two-day losing streak, boosted by earnings-related gains in Wal-Mart and Cisco, while a tax bill in the US expected to boost corporate earnings passed its first hurdle.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 187 points, or 0.8%, to 23,458, the S&P 500 gained 21 points, or 0.82%, to 2,586 and the Nasdaq Composite added 87 points, or 1.3%, to 6,793.
Investors cheered strong quarterly earnings from Wal-Mart Stores, Cisco Systems and other companies. Technology stocks accounted for much of the market’s gains, which helped lift the Nasdaq composite to its first record high in just over a week.
Health care companies and consumer product makers also posted solid gains. Energy and utilities stocks lagged. Oil prices declined.
In economic news, the House voted to pass a near $1.5 trillion package overhauling corporate and personal taxes.
Data storage company NetApp climbed 15.9% as investors applauded its quarterly results and forecasts. Cisco Systems also delivered a bigger profit than analysts expected. Its shares climbed 5.2%, its biggest gain since February 2016.
Wal-Mart surged 10.9% after posting strong third-quarter results and raising its annual profit outlook. Best Buy fell 3.6% after the electronics retailer’s latest quarterly results and forecast for the holiday season fell short of estimates.
Procter & Gamble added 1.2% after activist investor Nelson Peltz said an independent count showed he won election to the consumer products company’s board.
In Asia, shares gained on Friday in morning session as global equities appeared to bounce back after declines earlier in the week.
Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.7% as broad gains were seen across sectors. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi advanced 0.53%. Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.26%. Greater China markets were mixed. The Hang Seng Index rose 0.81% while mainland markets edged down. The Shanghai Composite was off 0.31% and the Shenzhen Composite slid 0.95%.