Walmart results boost US markets
(Closed): US markets closed higher with Wal-Mart shares rising 2% after reporting strong quarterly results.
The retail giant reported an 8.6% rise in profit, better than expected - although its UK arm, Asda, saw a big drop in sales.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 23.76 points to 18,597.70.
Shares of private prison companies fell after the US Department of Justice announced it would phase out the use of those facilities and switch to government run prisons only.
Iconic motorcycle giant Harley-Davidson also slipped on Thursday.
Its shares fell 1.8% after announcing a $15m deal with the Department of Justice to settle allegations that it sold devices for its motorcycles that increased emission levels above legal limits.