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McDonald's Sales Surprise Beefs Up Stock Rally

Shares of the fast-food chain were the clear winner on markets Thursday, by far the largest contributor to the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Mickey D's sales in the U.S. rose in the third quarter for the first time in two years, proving that efforts to simplify its menu and improve locations had begun to have an impact on the topline. Domestic same-store sales rose 0.9%, triple expectations. If not for the stronger U.S. dollar, overall sales would have grown 7%.

Its success was felt marketwide and gave the earnings season energy after a lackluster start. The S&P 500 added 1.7% on Thursday, the Dow was up 1.9% or 320 points, and the Nasdaq gained 1.7%.

There were other earnings wins scattered throughout the markets on Thursday. In tech, Texas Instruments (TXN - Get Report) increased its sales outlook on greater focus on its analog chip business, and Citrix Systems (CTXS - Get Report) raised its full-year outlook thanks to better operating margins, while eBay (EBAY - Get Report) beat earnings estimates...


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