US stocks rose in volatile trade on Thursday as better-than-expected results from several regional banks lifted financial shares.
Earnings from big US regional banks, including PNC Financial Services Group and Fifth Third Bancorp, provided glimmers of hope for a sector damaged by climbing loan losses as the recession lingers.
Solid results from companies such as Apple Inc also appeased investors. Apple shares rose 3.2% to $US125.40 on strong sales of iPhones and iPods.
In contrast, United Parcel Service Inc slid 2.6%to $US53.33 after it said profits were hurt by the economic downturn and forecast second-quarter results below expectations.
And US government data showed existing homes sales fell in March to a much lower-than-expected annual rate, while weekly initial jobless claims rose slightly more than expected.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 70.49 points, or 0.89%, to 7,957.06.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 8.37 points, or 0.99%, to 851.92.
The Nasdaq Composite Index added 6.09 points, or 0.37%, to 1,652.21.