Stocks closed Thursday's session higher on strong earnings. After the bell, Google reported better-than-expected results. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Stocks resumed their upward path after Wednesday's pause. Strong earnings results sparked the buying. After the closing bell, Google earnings beat forecasts, but revenues fell short. Aggregate paid clicks were up 18 percent. Google stock up on the news. Investors bid up Citigroup after the bank's quarterly profit rose to its highest level in eight years. A sharp reduction in legal costs lifted its bottom line. Reuters Breakingviews associate editor Antony Currie: SOUNDBITE: ANTONY CURRIE, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, REUTERS BREAKINGVIEWS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It's got its expenses down. Go back last year, they were spending 80 percent of their revenue on expenses. Now a lot of that was legal, they got it down to 55 percent, 56 percent, I think, if you include Citi Holdings. And that is second only to U.S. Bancorp, which is the most efficient bank in the business." On the flip side, a surge in litigation expenses pummeled profit at investment bank Goldman Sachs. Netflix shares spiked higher one day after the video streaming company surprised Wall Street by adding a third more subscribers than expected in the latest quarter. It was the day's biggest gainer on the S&P 500. Close behind Netflix: eBay. The online auctioneer is selling its enterprise business to a consortium for $925 million. The company's profit also beat analysts' estimates. More positive signs for the economy: Confidence among home builders remained at a nearly ten-year high this month. And the number of Americans filing jobless claims fell more than expected last week. The Greek parliament's passage of austerity measures lifted stocks in Europe to a six-week high.