Stocks end day with modest gains
The engines driving the stock market were more tepid than turbocharged Thursday, but they were enough to help stocks rise for a fifth straight day.
The three major stock indexes closed higher as good news on the job market and healthy earnings from companies like Royal Caribbean and Harley-Davidson encouraged investors.
Forces driving gains are tenuous, market watchers said. Hiring remains sluggish. And while companies are turning in profits that are beating the estimates of financial analysts, many are missing revenue forecasts.
Some investors think the market's most recent gains have more to do with the belief that central banks around the world, including the Fed, will continue to keep interest rates low and buy bonds to encourage borrowing and spending.
"As long as the world wants to print [money] . . . the fears of a global slowdown are going to be muted," said Scott Freeze, president of Street One Financial in Huntingdon Valley, Pa.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose as much as 91 points before closing up 24.50 points to 14,700.80. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.40 percent to close at 1,585.16. The Nasdaq composite index rose 0.62 percent to close at 3,289.99.