US stocks : Dow off 0.1 pct
Tank barge operator Kirby Corp added 6.3 percent to $70.67 and transportation company Ryder Systems climbed 4.8 percent to $56.84 after posting quarterly results.
Thomson Reuters data through Thursday morning shows that of the 231 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings this season, 69.3 percent have exceeded expectations, a higher proportion than over the past four quarters and above the average since 1994.
Overall, S&P 500 fourth-quarter earnings are forecast to have risen 3.7 percent. That's above a 1.9 percent forecast at the start of the earnings season but well below a 9.9 percent profit growth forecast on Oct. 1, the data showed.
Slot machine maker WMS Industries surged 51.7 percent to $24.84 after the company agreed to be acquired by Scientific Games for $26 per share in cash. Scientific Games jumped 5 percent to $9.38.
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