Nasdaq up 1.7 percent at midday
Investors seemed to ignore data on inflation to send New York equities markets higher at the mid-point of the day on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had added 0.8 percent to 10,905.22, while the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.7 percent to 2,120.64 and the S&P 500 gained 1 percent to 1,242.29.
Banks saw gains. Goldman Sachs was up 2.7 percent to $142.26, Lehman Brothers gained 2.9 percent to $62.68, and Bear Stearns added 3.4 percent to $128.37 on a report that profits were up 81 percent in the second quarter.
With crude oil prices rising again, ConocoPhillips gained 2.3 percent to $60.81, while Anadarko Petroleum advanced by 4 percent to $47.25. Ethanol producer Verasun Energy, however, which made its trading debut Wednesday with a gain of 30 percent, dropped 9.7 percent to $27.10.
Stock exchange operators saw gains on the day. Nasdaq was up 6 percent to $26.63, while NYSE Group gained 7.1 percent to $54.50.
Construction machinery manufacturer Caterpillar added 3.9 percent to $70.11 on the news that its quarterly dividend will go up by 20 percent.
In the semiconductor sector, upgrades from “neutral” to “buy” sent both Nvidia and Sandisk higher. Sandisk gained 5 percent to $53.07, while Nvidia was up 7 percent to $21.87.