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Overnight Markets: S&P 500 back to record on bank earnings

Overnight Markets: S&P 500 back to record on bank earnings

Wall Street advanced on Wednesday, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index closing at a record, as the World Bank lifted its global growth forecast and Bank of America Corp.’s profit spurred a rally in financial shares.

The Dow Jones industrial average surged 108 points, or 0.66%, to end at 16,482. The S&P 500 advanced 10 points, or 0.52%, to close at 1,848. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 32 points, or 0.76%, to finish at 4,215.

Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) climbed 2.3% after the second-largest US bank said its quarterly profit surged by nearly $3 billion on an increase in revenue.

In the latest economic data, the seasonally adjusted Producer Price Index rose 0.4% last month, the biggest increase since June, although inflation pressures remained benign. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index surged to 12.5, topping the 3.5 estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

In its latest Beige Book report on business activity, the Fed said the economy expanded at a moderate pace from late November through the end of 2013, with some regions of the country expecting a pickup in growth.

The World Bank raised its global growth forecasts as a recovery in advanced economies tempers the effects of tighter monetary conditions on developing markets. The forecast for the richest nations was raised to 2.2% from 2%.

In company news, Apple Inc (AAPL.O) shares gained 2% a day after chief executive Tim Cook said the company's deal with China Mobile would help it build on its momentum in the country.

After the closing bell, CSX Corp (CSX.N) reported fourth-quarter earnings and sales that were slightly below expectations. Shares fell 2.1% in extended-hours trading.

During regular trading, Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O) shares rose 1.8% a day after the electric car maker said that deliveries of its Model S sedan in the fourth quarter sharply exceeded what the company had forecast.

SolarCity Corp (SCTY.O) shares gained 4.5% after the top US solar installer unveiled a plan to let investors, including individuals, invest in its rooftop solar systems.

On the downside, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. declined 4.3% amid an analyst downgrade.

In Asia, shares gained on Thursday in late morning trade as better-than-projected bank earnings boosted investor confidence and drove US stock gauges to record highs.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2% to 140 as of 11:24 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Topix (TPX) index rose 0.8%. South Korea’s Kospi index advanced 0.3%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.9%. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was little changed.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.4% and China’s Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.1%.

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