Stocks Close Higher

But concern about profits cooled an earlier rally sparked by strong earnings from Yahoo! and a positive report on jobless claims

Stocks closed higher on Thursday but off highs reached earlier in the session -- when the major indexes reached their best levels of the year -- as profit taking pared gains. Investors sought more confirmation of a strong third quarter earnings season after Intenet media company Yahoo! (YHOO ) reported a sparkling quarter. News that weekly jobless claims declined to their lowest level in eight months had fueled a big rally that petered out by the end of trading.

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