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Overnight Markets: Wall Street gains on upbeat earnings

Overnight Markets: Wall Street gains on upbeat earnings

Wall Street gained on Tuesday in response to upbeat results from companies including Merck & Co and a rebound in Facebook and other high-growth shares.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 87 points or 0.53%, to 16,535, the S&P 500 gained nine points or 0.48%, to 1,878 and the Nasdaq Composite added 29 points or 0.72%, to 4,104.

Internet shares rallied for the first time in five days and results from Merck & Co. to Sprint Corp. topped estimates before a Federal Reserve decision on monetary policy.

Merck & Co (MRK.N)'s shares climbed 3.6%, giving the S&P 500 its biggest lift, after it reported stronger-than-expected earnings.

Further deal activity on the healthcare front also lifted the market. Britain's Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc (RB.L) confirmed talks to acquire Merck's consumer health business, the latest asset up for grabs in a wave of recent pharmaceutical deals.

Shares of Facebook (FB.O) were up 3.6%, a day after selling off along with a host of other momentum names.

Shares of Twitter (TWTR.N) jumped 4.6% ahead of its results after the bell, when it reported 255 million monthly active users, up from the previous quarter but not enough to satisfy investors.

Also after the bell, shares of eBay (EBAY.O) fell 3.8% as its second-quarter forecast fell short of estimates.

During the regular session, Sprint Corp (S.N) shares jumped 11.3% after the No. 3 US mobile provider reported an increase in quarterly revenue.

On the down side, Coach Inc (COH.N) reported a sharp drop in North American sales and the stock slumped 9.3%.

Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM.N) finished down 2.6% after its first-quarter profit and sales missed Wall Street estimates.

In Asia, shares oscillated between gains and losses on Wednesday before the Bank of Japan and US Fed report on policy.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed by 11:35 a.m. in Tokyo, with Japanese shares paring gains as the yen strengthened. The Hang Seng Index slipped 0.9%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 0.2%, trimming its decline in April to 3.4%. The Topix added 0.1% as yen strengthened 0.2% to 102.41 per dollar after two days of weakness.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.4%, trimming its advance in the month to 1.6%, while the Kospi measure in Seoul rose 0.2%, down 0.9% in April. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index climbed 1%.

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