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Slew of Positive Earnings Reports Keep Stocks Up


Stocks continue to be bolstered by earnings reports and positive news in Europe.


Despite disappointing news in home sales, mostly positive earnings reports continued to buoy stocks.

New home sales fell 7.3% in December at a rate of 369,000 units, according to the US Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Development.

International news is more positive. The euro is at an 11-month high on the dollar and European banks are ready to start paying back loans they received from the European Central Bank. In addition, President of the European Central Bank Maro Draghi made uplifting comments in Davos, Switzerland, saying the markets have a "new, restored sense of tranquility."

The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) moved up 36 points to 13861.89 and the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) continued to ascend to 1499.18, up 0.29%. The Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) is up 0.40% at 3142.98.

Procter & Gamble's (NYSE:PG) profit more than doubled in its fiscal second quarter earnings report. The company earned $1.39 per share from $0.57 per share last year. The stock stayed high at $72.99, up 3.65%.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) -- Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) cut its price target on the stock from $760 to $660, fueling the tech giant's descent to $445.28, down 1.16%.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) fourth-quarter earnings fell $0.76 a share from $0.78 a share a year ago. Revenue in the Microsoft Windows division increased 24% but Windows 8 sales were not as high as investors would like. Its stock inched up 1.14% to $24.94.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) will merge its leveraged finance and syndication businesses, the Wall Street Journal reported. Shares went up 0.35% to $42.96 following the news.

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) earnings rose to $0.57 a share from $0.50 a share a year ago, meeting analyst expectations. Its stores in China/Asia grew 11% in the fiscal first-quarter.

Select Comfort (NASDAQ:SCSS) stock sank 17.41% to $23.19 after it reported fourth quarter earnings of $0.22 a share, missing analyst estimates of $0.32 a share. The company recently acquired Comfortaire Corporation, a manufacturer of adjusted sleep systems.

E TRADE Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:ETFC) earnings fell 16% for the second quarter from $0.16 a share to $0.14 a share. Its stock fell 0.97% to $10.19.

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) has continued to ascend after it released positive fourth-quarter earnings yesterday. The stock is up 12.78% to $165.71.

The oilfield service firm Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) stock rallied to $39.65, up 4.67%, after its fourth-quarter earnings of $0.72 surpassed analyst expectations of $0.61. The earnings were down, however, from last year's $0.98 a share.

Oshkosh (NYSE:OSK) raised its 2013 outlook to $2.80 to $3.05 from $2.35 to $2.60 after better-than-expected sales in construction. Its first-quarter profit went up to $0.51 from $0.43 a year earlier.

Manufacturer Honeywell (NYSE:HON) inched down 0.12% to $68.16 after releasing a fourth-quarter earnings per share of $1.10 that barely exceeded analyst predictions of $1.09.

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