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Overnight Markets: Wall Street gains on upbeat earnings reports

Overnight Markets: Wall Street gains on upbeat earnings reports

Wall Street gained on Tuesday as solid earnings reports from Netflix Inc. to Harley-Davidson Inc. topped estimates and health-care shares surged amid a $45.7 billion bid for Allergan Inc.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 65 points or 0.40%, to end at 16,514. The S&P 500 gained eight points or 0.41%, to 1,880. The Nasdaq Composite added 40 points or 0.97%, to 4,161.

The healthcare sector was the best performer as Allergan Inc (AGN.N) jumped 15.2% a day after activist investor William Ackman teamed up with Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO)(VRX.N) to bid for the company. US-listed Valeant shares surged 7.5%.

Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) rose 7% a day after reporting strong subscriber growth.

A deal between Novartis (NOVN.VX) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L), in which the two traded over $20 billion worth of assets in an effort to cope with healthcare spending cuts and generic competition, also bolstered the healthcare sector. US-listed shares of Novartis (NVS.N) gained 1.3%, while Glaxo (GSK.N) rose 4.1%.

Dow components Travelers Cos Inc (TRV.N) and United Technologies Corp (UTX.N) both beat expectations, and United Tech raised the low end of its full-year profit outlook. Shares of Travelers rose 0.6% while United Tech added 0.8%.

McDonald's Corp (MCD.N) reported earnings that fell alongside a drop in US same-store sales, and its stock slipped 0.4%.

After the close, Gilead Sciences Inc (GILD.O) gained 1.1% after the drugmaker said its new $1,000 hepatitis C pill generated quarterly sales of $2.27 billion, helping the company's quarterly net profit nearly triple.

Facebook Inc (FB.O) shares gained 2.9%, helping to lift the Nasdaq 100 and the S&P 500.

In Asia, shares pared their advance on Wednesday after China’s preliminary manufacturing data signaled persisting weakness in the world’s second-largest economy and Australia’s inflation increased less than expected.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.2% to 139 as of 10:05 a.m. in Tokyo, paring gains of as much as 0.6%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 0.5%. Japan’s Topix index rose 0.6% and South Korea’s Kospi index advanced 0.1%.

New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.7% and Taiwan’s Taiex index added 0.3%. China’s Shanghai Composite Index and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index both fell 0.3%. Singapore Straits Times Index lost 0.4%.

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Profile: Kevin Doran's formula for success at AJ Bell

Profile: Kevin Doran's formula for success at AJ Bell

From a degree in theoretical physics to teaching and becoming one of the youngest chief investment officers in the UK, Kevin Doran has certainly had an interesting career.

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