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The Markets Now: Stocks Rise, Hewlett-Packard Surges 10%

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WebMD and VeriFone also rose Friday.

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Stocks rose after two days of declines. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) surged 10.12% to $18.8 after first-quarter earnings fell but beat Wall Street expectations, earning $1.2 billion or $0.63 per share compared to $1.5 billion or $0.73 per share a year ago. Revenue also dropped by 6% to $28 billion from $30 billion a year earlier.

It is predicted that the economy in the eurozone will shrink for the second year, European Union economists say. The eurozone is expected to shrink 0.3% this year, down from November's outlook of 0.1% growth. But it is also predicted that the economy will improve later this year.

The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) rose 0.41% to 13937.76 and the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) moved up 0.39% to 1508.28. The Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) ascended 13 points to 3144.82.

ING (NYSE:ING) named a new CEO, Ralph Hamers, who will succeed Jan Hommen. Hamers was the head of ING's Belgian banking business. Shares rose 1.72% to $8.30.

In other executive shakeup news, Alcatel Lucent SA (NYSE:ALU) picked an ex-Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) executive, Michael Combes, as its new CEO. Its stock declined 2.59% to $1.43.

Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) shares fell 6.18% to $45.95 after it reported a rise in fourth-quarter earnings. Its revenue increased 11% to $1.47 billion, slightly below analyst expectations of $1.49 billion. The clothing retailer brought in a profit of $157 million or $1.95 per share, up from 45.8 million or $0.52 per share a year ago.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) stock edged up 0.68% to $76.53 after executive Ray Connor called for many design changes to ensure batteries will not light on fire. Connor said Boeing plans to design planes for better protection against overheating batteries. The plane's crew would also be instructed to better monitor battery and power units for safety purposes.

AIG (NYSE:AIG) reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $4 billion yesterday as Hurricane Sandy took a toll on the insurer. Shares rose 2.39% to $38.17.

Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) earned $5.61 billion from continuing operations in the fourth quarter, up from $5.19 billion last year and revenue rose 3.9% to $127.92 billion. Wal-Mart forecasted 2013 earnings earnings per share of $5.20 to $5.40. Its stock fell 0.40% to $69.98.

Wireless network equipment manufacturer Aruba Networks (NASDAQ:ARUN) surged 20.16% after it reported fiscal second-quarter earnings of $0.22 per share, above analyst expectations of $0.19 per share.

One-fifth of Novartis' (NYSE:NVS) shareholders voted against the company's new compensation system, arguing that the CEO's pay component is too high. Shares moved up 0.38% to $68.98.

WebMD Health (NASDAQ:WBMD) reported fourth-quarter revenue that beat expectations, at $132 million, but reported a quarterly loss of $0.12 per share. Analysts had estimated a loss of $0.04. Shares climbed to $19.90, up 22.09%.

A.P. Moller-Maersk (PINK:AMKBF) reported a net profit of $981 million in the fourth quarter, exceeding analyst expectations. The shipping conglomerate gave a negative outlook for their industry in 2013, however, citing a decrease oil production volumes and ownership of oil assets. The stock is down 1.16% at 44,480.000 DKK.

A European committee voted against approval of VIVUS Inc.'s (NASDAQ:VVUS) weight loss drug. Shares declined 4.81% to $12.26.

VeriFone (NYSE:PAY) rose 4.33% to $19.03 despite falling yesterday due to downgrades to Neutral from JPMorgan, Citigroup, and Piper Jaffray.

Carlyle Group (NASDAQ:CG) which went public in May of last year, released its fourth-quarter earnings report yesterday. The results missed expectations, bringing in a $182 million profit compared to $254 million a year ago. Shares inched up 0.89% to $34.10 after falling yesterday.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced its new Chromebook Pixel notebook, priced at $1,299, which is meant to challenge the MacBook Air. Its stock rose 0.10% to $734.56.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) applied for a new patent for the much-discussed iWatch. Shares moved up 0.61% to $448.71.

No positions in stocks mentioned.
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