U.S. stocks were moving broadly higher in early trading Thursday as technology companies rebounded after a steep sell-off a day earlier. Banks and health care stocks also posted solid gains. Energy companies rose along with the price of crude oil. New data showing consumer spending grew in October also helped lift the market.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 11 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,637 as of 10:04 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 120 points, or 0.5 percent, to 24,061. The Nasdaq added 27 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,851. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 4 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,547. Rising stocks outpaced declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange.
ENCOURAGING DATA: The Labor Department said consumers boosted their spending a solid 0.3 percent in October, while their incomes grew 0.4 percent. Both were healthy gains indicating the fourth quarter got off to a strong start. A separate report showed fewer people sought unemployment benefits last week, the latest sign that the U.S. job market is strong.
TECH REBOUND: A day after technology stocks fell sharply, investors seized upon the lower share prices to buy into the sector. Synopsys jumped $4.71, or 5.4 percent, to $91.48. NetApp added $1.04, or 1.8 percent, to $57.27.
QUARTERLY WINS: Kroger jumped 13 percent after the supermarket operator served up a strong quarter. The stock gained $3.17 to $27.56. Arts and crafts store Michaels surged 11.5 percent after its own results came in ahead of forecasts. Michaels' shares rose $2.23 to $21.58.
NOT AS BAD: Sears Holdings vaulted 13.8 percent after the department store operator narrowed its quarterly loss thanks to lower costs. The Sears and Kmart owner has been cutting costs and closing stores. The stock added 58 cents to $4.79. Its shares are still down 48 percent for the year.
ACTUALLY, NO: Juniper Networks slid 4 percent after Nokia said it is not in talks to buy the computer network equipment maker. The stock had jumped Wednesday in aftermarket trading following a CNBC report that Nokia was planning to make an offer. Juniper shares lost $1.18 to $28.34.
OIL: Crude oil prices rose after key OPEC oil ministers expressed a preference for extending crude output cuts until the end of next year. A year ago, OPEC backed the cuts in order to get prices higher, a strategy that has worked. On Thursday, Benchmark U.S. crude was up 39 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $57.69 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 67 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $63.20 in London.
Energy stocks were rising with the pickup in oil prices. Helmerich & Payne added $1.46, or 2.6 percent, to $58.50.
BOND YIELDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury held steady at 2.39 percent.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 111.93 yen from 111.82 yen on Wednesday. The euro strengthened to $1.1905 from $1.1863.
MARKETS OVERSEAS: Major stock indexes in Europe were mixed. Germany's DAX rose 0.2 percent, while France's CAC 40 was 0.1 percent higher. London's FTSE 100 slipped 0.4 percent. Earlier in Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gave up 1.5 percent, while Tokyo's Nikkei 225 gained 0.6 percent. Seoul's Kospi fell 1.4 percent. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 declined 0.7 percent. India's Sensex lost 1.4 percent.