U.S. stock indices advanced with the Nasdaq leading the gains amid earnings reports from various companies. Shares of Netflix Inc. rose 18% and eBay Inc. shares jumped 3.4% on better-than-expected reports.
Investor confidence advanced after Greece's parliament voted for austerity reforms.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that the number of initial jobless claims fell for the first time in three weeks. The seasonally adjusted index fell by 15,000 to 281,000 in a week ended July 11. Economists expected 285,000 claims.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 70.08 points, or 0.4%, to 18120.25. The S&P 500 added 16.89 points, or 0.8%, to 2124.29. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 64.24 points, or 1.3%, to 5163.18.
In Asia this morning Hong Kong Hang Seng rose 0.98%, or 246.31 points, to 25,409.09. China Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.57%, or 60.01 points, to 3,883.18. Meanwhile the Nikkei advanced by 0.17%, or 34.01 points, to 20,634.13.
Asian stock indices advanced amid gains in U.S. stock markets. Investors are less worried about Chinese stocks and Greece's debt situation. A weaker yen supported Japanese stocks as it is favorable for exporters.