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Overnight Markets: US stocks gain amid strong technology earnings

Shares rose on better-than-expected earnings from tech companies and bets that dismal economic data will lead to more monetary stimulus.

 
Overnight Markets: US stocks gain amid strong technology earnings

U.S. stocks gained on Thursday, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to a two-month high, amid better-than-expected earnings from technology companies and bets that dismal economic data will lead to more monetary stimulus.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 35 points, or 0.27%, to 12,943. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose four points, or 0.27%, to 1,377. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 23 points, or 0.79%, to 2,966.

Technology shares gained after IBM raised its full-year outlook, eBay's profit beat forecasts and Qualcomm said it expects a "strong December quarter." IBM shares jumped 3.8%, Qualcomm was up 4.2% and eBay surged 8.6%.

However, weak manufacturing and employment data as well as falling revenue at Morgan Stanley capped Wall Street gains. Manufacturing in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region contracted for a third month and home resales were lower than predicted. The data followed a report that showed more Americans applied for unemployment insurance in the latest week. But more monetary stimulus hopes helped the market shake off bad news.

Morgan Stanley fell 5.3% as quarterly revenue declined due to a slowdown in trading and deal-making volumes. The company will cut 1,000 employees by the end of this year.

U.S.-traded shares of Mellanox Technologies surged about 41.5% after the chipmaker's profit beat analysts' expectations.

Elsewhere, Textron shares rallied 11.5% after the world's largest maker of corporate jets beat Wall Street forecasts.

Walgreen soared 12% after renewing a contract with Express Scripts. Google rose 3.1% as revenue surged 35%.

In Asia, equities declined on Friday amid speculation China will keep property curbs in place and as U.S. economic reports missed estimates.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.6% to 117 as of 1:33 p.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined 0.9%, while South Korea’s Kospi Index climbed 0.2%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index retreated 0.1%.

Singapore’s Straits Times Index declined 0.4%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.2%, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index retreated 0.4%.

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