US stocks rose on Thursday as better-than-expected earnings by Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, helped offset disappointing government numbers on retail sales and jobs.
Shares of Wal-Mart gained 2.7% to $51.88 following its second-quarter earnings and its outlook for the full year.
The rest of the retail sector was lukewarm after the US Commerce Department reported retail sales fell 0.1% in July, defying market expectations of a gain.
Also on the negative side, the government said the number of workers filing initial applications for unemployment benefits rose by 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 558,000.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 36.58 points, or 0.39%, to 9,398.19. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 6.92 points, or 0.69%, to 1,012.73. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 10.63 points, or 0.53%, to 2,009.35.