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The Markets Now: Sunny Earnings Reports Send Stocks Up


In the tech sector, IBM and Google were both up on positive earnings.

Positive earnings reports and sunny economic news bolstered stocks Wednesday.

The jobless claims report pleasantly surprised investors, plunging to 335,000, well below expectations of 368,000 claims. The PMI Manufacturing Index Flash also provided positive news for business growth. The reading for December was 54.0, up 1.2 points from November's reading, and the highest since May of last year.

The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) moved up 54 points to 13766.59. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) declined 0.04% to 1491.84 and the Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) rose to 3154.91, up 0.37%.

International Business Machines' (NYSE:IBM) earnings per share rose to $14.37, a 10% increase from last year. Shares climbed to $206.07, up 5.09%.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) reported fourth-quarter earnings of $10.65, up from $9.50 a year ago, sending its stock up 6.25% to $746.58.

McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) fourth-quarter profit rose to $1.38 per share, or nearly $1.4 billion. Shares rose to $93.36, up 0.44%.

JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon commented on the "London Whale" loss, apologizing to shareholders and adding that "life goes on." The stock declined 0.99% to $46.08.

Cisco Systems' (NASDAQ:CSCO) stock inched down to $20.78 after the company announced an agreement to buy Israeli software maker Intucell for $475 million.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is involved in talks with private equity firm Silver Lake Partners to finance a buyout of Dell, the Wall Street Journal reported. Shares rose 1.09% to $27.44.

WellPoint's (NYSE:WLP) fourth-quarter profit beat expectations at $1.51 per share, but its 2013 profit forecast of $7.60 per share was below the $7.98 Wall Street consensus. Its stock moved up 1.08% to $64.49.

Coach's (NYSE:COH) stock sank 14.96% to $51.60 after earnings disappointed investors. Coach reported earnings of $1.23 per share, below analyst estimates of $1.28, due to lackluster holiday sales in North America.

United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) reported net income of $16.44 billion, up from $14.38 billion last year. Its shares rose 0.51% to $87.92.

MAP Pharmaceuticals' (NASDAQ:MAPP) stock shot up 58.73% to $24.73 after Allergan, Inc. (NYSE:AGN) agreed to acquire the company for $958 million.

Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares rose 0.82% to $508.94 in anticipation of its earnings report, which will be released after the closing bell.

Gold futures sank $7.90 to $1685.30 and crude oil edged down $0.18 to $96.46.
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