A sign for Wall Street is seen just outside the New York Stock Exchange.(Photo: Timothy A. Clary, AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK (AP) - Investors are hoping the bulls keep running on Wall Street today.
Earnings gains at major U.S. companies and encouraging economic news pushed U.S. stocks to record levels yesterday.
A drop in claims for unemployment benefits signaled a healthier economy and encouraged investors to buy stocks. Also, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said manufacturing in its region grew at the fastest pace in more than two years this month.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 78 points, or 0.5 percent, to 15,548. The Dow's gains were led by IBM and UnitedHealth Group, which reported better earnings than Wall Street analysts were expecting.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 8 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,689. And the Nasdaq composite edged up a point.
Today, General Electric reports quarterly financial results.