A look at highlights from the day's business news:
Stocks end higher after light trading day
Stocks posted tepid gains, down slightly from their earlier rally Thursday as investors weighed better-than-expected reports on the U.S. trade deficit and weekly jobless claims.
At the closing bell, the S&P 500 was up 5 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,104, the Nasdaq Composite climbed 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,236, and the Dow Jones industrial average rose 28 points, or 0.3 percent, to 10,415, according to early tallies.
Earlier in the session, the Dow had risen by as much as 51 points.
All three major indexes started the month with a bang following a series of stronger-than-expected economic reports. But this week, trading has been a
bit shaky, with little on the docket to push stocks forward.
Treasury yields jump on 'glimmer of good news'
Treasury yields charged higher Thursday as better-than-expected news on the economic front eased fears about a stalling recovery or double-dip recession - for now.
"Apparently, investor sentiment became so poor in recent weeks that any glimmer of good news - no matter how small - has led investors to shed their 'disaster protection' positions," said Kevin Giddis, president of fixed income markets at Morgan Keegan, in a note to investors.
Yields jumped across the board, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year note rising to 2.71 percent, from 2.65 percent late Wednesday. Prices and yields move in opposite directions so rising yields suggest investors are shifting away from 'safety' and into riskier assets, like equities.
The yield on the 30-year bond climbed to 3.79 percent, marking the highest level since Aug. 13, and up from 3.73 percent Wednesday. Traders were also awaiting the results of a $13 billion auction of 30-year bonds, the third auction in the week's $67 billion of debt sales.
The 2-year yield rose to 0.55 percent, while the 5-year yield edged up to 1.51 percent.
– CNNMoney.com reporters Annalyn Censky and Blake Ellis contributed to this report.