US stocks end with modest gains after an early advance fizzles; S&P 500 up for a fifth day

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Stock indexes are closing higher on Wall Street but only after giving up much of the ground they won earlier in the day.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 24 points at 14,700 Thursday, an increase of 0.2 per cent. It had been up as much as 91 points.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose six points to 1,585, or 0.4 per cent. The Nasdaq composite rose 20 points to 3,290. That’s an increase of 0.6 per cent.

Good news on the job market and healthy earnings from name-brand companies like Royal Caribbean and Harley-Davidson encouraged investors to buy stocks. UPS and Dow Chemical also rose.

Two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was slightly higher than usual, 3.8 billion shares.