With eye toward recovery,

investors drive indexes up

More signs that the economy is creeping toward recovery encouraged investors to move toward stocks - but at a cautious pace. Stocks rose moderately Thursday in very light volume. There were no dramatic economic reports, but a smattering of positive data convinced investors to take more chances on stocks. News from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve of a pickup in mid-Atlantic manufacturing also lifted the market, having offset a weaker-than-expected Labor Department report on first-time claims for unemployment. The Dow Jones industrials rose 70.89 points, or 0.76 percent, to 9,350.05. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 10.91, or 1.09 percent, to 1,007.37, while the Nasdaq composite index gained 19.98, or 1.01 percent, to 1,989.22.

NTBY gets U.K. approval

for takeover of Graves

The U.K. Competition Commission has approved the takeover of British food retailer Julian Graves by Ronkonkoma-based NBTY Inc. Britain's highest antitrust regulator had been investigating the $25-million deal, which was announced in September. NBTY, which manufactures and distributes nutritional supplements in the United States and internationally, said in July that the commission had provisionally approved the acquisition. Company shares rose 47 cents Thursday, to close at $36.90.

JetBlue's pass promotion

halted after selling out

Forest Hills-based JetBlue Airways, which last week began offering a one-month unlimited travel pass, ended the sale early when the passes sold out before the promotion was set to expire, the airline said Thursday. The low-cost airline was offering $599 passes to travel to any of JetBlue's 56 destinations. The offer was set to expire today. "We wanted to ensure those who bought the pass could get the flights they want, so we capped the number of passes we would sell," said JetBlue spokeswoman Jenny Dervin. "And we reached that number [Wednesday]." U.S. airlines, battered this year by an economic recession that has eroded travel demand, aim to bolster bookings in the fall with sales and creative marketing.

Durbrand DVD players sold

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at Wal-Mart are recalled

Wal-Mart is voluntarily recalling about 1.5 million Durabrand DVD players after receiving five reports of the products overheating, leading to fires and property damage. No injuries have been reported. The Consumer Product Safety Commission Thursday announced the recall; the players were sold only at Wal-Mart stores from January 2006 through July 2009. For information call 800-925-6278 or go to walmartstores.com or cpsc.gov.

From staff and wire reports