US stock market finishes higher after goods news on earnings and jobs market

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The U.S. stock market is closing sharply higher after investors received encouraging news on corporate earnings and the jobs market.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 225 points, or 1.3 per cent, to close at 17,416 Thursday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 19 points, or 1 per cent, to 2,021.

The government reported Thursday that weekly claims for unemployment benefits dropped to a 15-year low. Ford, Harley-Davidson, Coach and Ally Financial were among the companies that reported quarterly results that exceeded Wall Street’s expectations

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged up to 1.76 per cent from 1.72 late Wednesday.