Stocks closed solidly higher as investors found plenty to like in the latest earnings reports from financial and industrial companies, the AP reports. Transportation companies did especially well Thursday. Railroad operator CSX jumped 5.6% after releasing surprisingly strong earnings. Makers of basic materials also rose. Paint and coatings maker Sherwin-Williams climbed 4%. Financial companies gained ground after more of them reported solid earnings and as bond yields rose, which allows them to charge higher rates on loans. American Express jumped 5.9% after a strong earnings report.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 17 points, or 0.8%, to 2,355. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 174 points, or 0.9%, to 20,578. The Nasdaq composite gained 53 points, or 0.9%, to 5,916, its latest all-time high close. (Read more stock market stories.)