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Overnight Markets: S&P 500 and Nasdaq rise on earnings

Overnight Markets: S&P 500 and Nasdaq rise on earnings

US stocks rose on Thursday, ending a holiday-shortened week with mostly modest gains, as earnings from General Electric Co. and Morgan Stanley beat estimates and concern eased that the Ukraine crisis may worsen.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 16 points, or 0.10%, to end at 16,409. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose three points, or 0.14%, to finish at 1,865. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained nine points, or 0.23%, to close at 4,096.

For the week, the Dow rose 2.4%, the S&P 500 added 2.7% and the Nasdaq advanced 2.4%.

The two were the latest to post earnings that topped expectations, helping to lift the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to their fourth straight daily advance. Tech bellwethers Google and IBM fell on disappointing figures and limited the broader market's gain. IBM's slide pushed the Dow into slightly negative territory at the close.

Morgan Stanley (MS.N) jumped 2.9% after the financial services company reported a rise in first-quarter earnings, while Goldman Sachs (GS.N) edged up 0.1% after reporting earnings that fell less than expected.

General Electric (GE.N) posted a 12% rise in overall industrial profits and its stock gained 1.7% yesterday.

Tech shares capped the S&P 500's gain, with Google Inc (GOOGL.O) down 3.7% and IBM (IBM.N) off 3.3% a day after both reported earnings that failed to impress Wall Street.

After the closing bell, Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD.N) reported first-quarter results that beat expectations, sending its shares up 2.9% in extended trading.

During the regular session, SanDisk Corp (SNDK.O) was the S&P 500's biggest gainer and helped boost the Nasdaq 100. SanDisk's stock shot up 9.4% a day after the company reported first-quarter revenue ahead of expectations.

Baker Hughes (BHI.N) climbed 3% after the world's third-largest oilfield services company posted better-than-expected results.

The latest data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose less than expected in the latest week and came near pre-recession levels.

In Asia, shares climbed on Friday in midsession, with the Topix index set for its biggest weekly advance this month, amid easing tension in Ukraine.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.1% to 139 at 12 p.m. in Tokyo as the Topix rose 0.3%. South Korea’s Kospi Index was 0.5% higher.

Financial markets in the Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand are among those that are closed for a holiday.

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