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Stocks rise in afternoon trading on solid earnings reports

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are rising to new highs in afternoon trading Thursday after solid earnings reports from several companies. Banks and industrial companies gained the most. The British pound rose after the Bank of England held off on cutting interest rates.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 106 points, or 0.6 percent, to 18,478 at 2:16 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 8 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,160. The Nasdaq composite increased 21 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,027.

IN THE BANK: JPMorgan Chase rose $1.17, or 1.8 percent to $64.33 after topping second-quarter earnings projections on higher trading revenue. Citigroup and Wells Fargo report on Friday.

GET IN LINE: Shares of the Japanese messaging app Line surged 25 percent on their first day of trading, a gain of $8.51 to $41.35. Line has more users than Facebook or Twitter in Japan.

YUM RESULTS: KFC owner Yum Brands climbed $2.40, or 3 percent, to $88.14 after reporting better-than-expected profit late Wednesday.

DELTA RISING: Delta Air Lines rose $1.12, or 2.8 percent, to $40.68 after reporting second-quarter profits that beat expectations. Lower fuel prices have helped airlines post big profits.

BRITISH FOCUS: Stocks in London gave up gains after the Bank of England surprised investors with its decision not to cut rates despite signs the British economy has weakened in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union. The FTSE 100 slipped 0.2 percent.

THE QUOTE: “The initial earnings reports are good, and optimism is starting to creep into the market,” said Brad Sorensen, director of the Schwab Center for Financial Research. The selling in the U.S. after the British vote, he added, was “a little overdone.”

POUND GAINS: The Bank of England’s decision not to act sent investors into the British currency, pushing it up to $1.3309 from $1.3160 a day earlier.

REST OF EUROPE: Germany’s DAX was up 1.4 percent while the CAC-40 in France rose 1.2 percent.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei closed nearly 1 percent higher as the yen weakened against the dollar. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.1 percent. South Korea’s KOSPI was up 0.2 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 69 cents to $45.44 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a standard for international oil prices, added 78 cents to $47.04 a barrel in London.

BONDS AND CURRENCIES: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.54 percent from 1.48 percent. The euro rose to $1.1122 from $1.1114 and the dollar rose to 105.67 yen from 104.33 yen.

METALS: Precious and industrial metals prices were mixed. Gold fell $11.40 to $1,332.20 an ounce, silver lost 9 cents to $20.32 an ounce and copper was flat at $2.24 a pound.

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