NEW YORK — 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 & Poor’s 500 index. Perrigo jumped $10.14 to end at $149.29. Another drugmaker, Merck, gained 93 cents, or 2 percent, to $58.78 following news that it won federal approval for a new sleeping pill.
The S&P 500 climbed up 8.46 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 1,955.18. Health care companies led nine of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 up.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 61.78 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,713.58 while the Nasdaq composite climbed 18.88 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,453.00.