World and Nation

Shorts (left)

Trading Gains on Profits Despite Job Loss Reports

Stocks moved upward on Thursday, riding momentum from stronger-than-expected earnings reports despite a round of jobless figures that showed persistent weakness in the labor market.

An assortment of companies, from AT&T to Xerox, reported higher-than-expected earnings, feeding the hopes of investors that the earnings season would remain positive. AT&T said it earned $3.19 billion, or 54 cents a share, in the third quarter as the Apple iPhone helped attract 2 million new wireless customers. Its profit topped Wall Street forecasts for 50 cents a share.

Adding to the optimism, a report on leading economic indicators released Thursday showed an improved outlook for the general health of the economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 131.95 points, or 1.33 percent, to 10,081.31, one day after it closed below 10,000. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index jumped 11.51 points, or 1.06 percent, to 1,092.91. The Nasdaq composite index gained 14.56 points, or 0.68 percent, to 2,165.29.

Labels Show Swedes Their Food’s Carbon Footprint

Shopping for oatmeal, Helena Bergstrom, 37, admitted that she was flummoxed by the label on the blue box reading, “Climate declared: .87 kg CO2 per kg of product.”

“Right now, I don’t know what this means,” said Bergstrom.

But if a new experiment here succeeds, she and millions of other Swedes will soon find out. New labels listing the carbon dioxide emissions associated with the production of foods, from whole wheat pasta to fast food burgers, are appearing on some grocery items and restaurant menus around the country.

People who live to eat might dismiss this as silly. But changing one’s diet can be as effective in reducing emissions of climate-changing gases as changing the car one drives or doing away with the clothes dryer, scientific experts say.

Russia’s Oil Industry, Breaking With Opec, Is Surging

Improbably, Russia’s oil sector has emerged as one of this country’s few growth industries.

While the 12 nations of OPEC have limped through the last year, painfully cutting production as the global economy slumped, Russian oil companies have had an extraordinary run. Profits and share prices at companies like Lukoil and Rosneft are up and the Russian budget deficit is coming down, in part because of oil revenue.

The divergent fortunes of Russia and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries suggest that the Kremlin will never revive the proposal it floated a year ago, then withdrew, that Russia and OPEC coordinate production limits. Russia has benefited handsomely from opening the taps full throttle.

Already the world’s largest oil-producing nation, Russia has become the biggest exporter too, surpassing Saudi Arabia as the Saudis reduced production to stay within OPEC’s limits.

“OPEC made a concerted effort to stem its exports,” Alex Fak, an oil analyst at Troika investment bank in Moscow, said. “The result of that action was higher oil prices. So Russia was encouraged to produce more and sell more. Which is what it did.”