US STOCKS-Wall St ends up on energy rebound; early earnings weak
* Alcoa, Bed Bath & Beyond both fall after results
* U.S. jobless claims rise less than expected
* Crude oil rebounds, lifting energy shares
* Indexes up: Dow 0.3 pct, S&P 0.5 pct, Nasdaq 0.5 pct (Updates to market close)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, April 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed higher on Thursday, with energy shares leading the advance as crude oil rebounded off a sharp decline, while investors bet that companies would top lowered expectations this earnings season.
The day's gains were broad, with eight of the S&P 500's ten industry sectors up on the day. The market extended its gains in afternoon trading, putting the S&P 500 about 1.3 percent away from its record close.
Equities have struggled for direction of late, with investors seeing limited upside potential in equities, but also few alternatives for yield. Many investors are looking ahead to the first-quarter earnings season for market guidance.
Earnings for S&P 500 companies are seen falling 2.8 percent in the first quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data, compared with the rise of 5.3 percent that had been forecast on Jan. 1. The drop in profits is largely related to strength in the dollar, which analysts said would not necessarily be a long-term detriment to stock prices. Continuación...