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Overnight Markets: Wall Street gains on merger news

Overnight Markets: Wall Street gains on merger news

Wall Street gained on Wednesday, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to an all-time high, boosted by the latest merger news and some strong corporate earnings.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 78 points or 0.45%, to end at 17,138, surpassing the record it had set on 3 July. The S&P 500 gained eight points or 0.42%, to 1,982. The Nasdaq Composite added 10 points or 0.22%, to 4,426.

In corporate news, Time Warner Inc shares surged 17.1% and ranked as the S&P 500's best performer after Twenty-First Century Fox confirmed it made an $80 billion takeover offer for the company that was turned down. Twenty-First Century Fox shares fell 6.2%.

Intel Corp jumped 9.3%, leading gains in semiconductor companies, after the world's largest chipmaker reported second-quarter results that topped analysts' estimates. Shares of Micron Technologies rose 1.8%. Other technology shares also gained.

After the bell, eBay Inc reported a 13% rise in quarterly revenue and its stock advanced 1.8% in extended-hours trading.

Shares were also boosted during the regular session after a partnership was struck between IBM and Apple Inc, wherein IBM will exclusively sell iPhones and iPads loaded with applications designed for business clients. IBM shares gained 2.1%, while Apple fell 0.6%.

Bank of America lost 1.9% after the second-largest US bank by assets reported a 43% drop in second-quarter profit as mortgage revenue fell and litigation costs increased.

General Electric Co is in talks to sell its century-old household appliances business for as much as $2.5 billion, sources said. The stock rose 1.5%.

In Asia, shares gained for a fourth day on Thursday as material and industrial shares led the advance.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.2% to 147 as of 9:33 a.m. in Hong Kong. Japan’s Topix index and South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.3%. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was little changed and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.5%. Taiwan’s Taiex index sank 0.5% and Singapore’s Straits Times Index added 0.1%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipped 0.1%, while the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.5%.

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