Stocks get lift from earnings, retail sales

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Better-than-expected earnings reports and a rise in monthly retails sales for the first time in more than a year pushed stocks higher Thursday.

Aluminum giant Alcoa (AA) helped set the tone when it reported a surprise quarterly profit after Wednesday's closing bell. The market further enjoyed a Thursday report indicating that consumer spending just might be improving. Sales at major retailers edged up 0.1 percent in September, their first monthly gain since July 2008, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) rose 61 points, or 0.6 percent, to close at 9,787, while the broader S&P 500 ($INX) added eight points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,065. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) closed up 13 points, or 0.6 percent, to finish at 2,124.

For more on stocks making moves today, be sure to check out BloggingStocks' market wrap up.
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