Merck & Company Incorporated

Stocks end higher on earnings news

Stocks end higher on earnings news

The U.S. stock market is closing slightly higher following some strong corporate earnings.

Better corporate earnings helped nudge the stock market up on Thursday in one of the quietest sessions this year.

Health-care companies led the major indexes to slight gains, while Berkshire Hathaway crossed another milestone, trading above $200,000 a share for the first time.

With many who work in the markets on vacation, trading volume on the New York Stock Exchange thinned out: just 2.6 billion shares on Thursday. An average day this year is nearly 1 billion higher.

Stronger profits for Perrigo, a drugmaker, drove its stock up 7 percent, the biggest gain in the Standard...

EDITION: California | U.S. & World