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Overnight Markets: Wall Street inched higher as blue chips rally

Overnight Markets: Wall Street inched higher as blue chips rally

Wall Street rose a second day on Tuesday as earnings from Coca-Cola Co. and Johnson & Johnson overwhelmed concerns that tensions in Ukraine are worsening.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 89 points, or 0.55%, to end at 16,263. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 12 points, or 0.68%, to finish at 1,843. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 11 points, or 0.29%, to close at 4,034.

Shares declined for much of the session before rebounding in afternoon trading. Coca-Cola Co (KO.N) jumped 3.7% as one of the S&P 500's biggest gainers after the world's largest beverage maker reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue, helped by strong sales in China. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) rose 2.1% after the pharmaceuticals and consumer products company posted earnings that beat expectations and raised its full-year profit view.

In the latest economic snapshot, a gauge of manufacturing in New York state grew at a much slower rate in April than it did in March, coming in far below expectations. The US Consumer Price Index increased 0.2% in March as food and housing rental costs rose, although inflation pressures remained generally benign.

Ukraine unleashed an offensive to dislodge militants from towns in its eastern Donetsk region as the authorities in Kiev said elements of Russian special forces were identified among the anti-government forces.

On the negative side, shares of electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O) fell 2.1% and shares of online movie rental company Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) dropped 1.6%. Intuitive Surgical (ISRG.O) shares declined 1.9%.

After the closing bell, Intel Corp (INTC.O) shares gained 3% in extended-hours trading after the chipmaker reported its first-quarter results and gave an outlook. Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O) shares rose 1.4% after the bell following the company's results.

Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) shares surged 11.4% after the company said it bought social data provider Gnip for an undisclosed amount.

In Asia, shares gained for the first time in four days on Wednesday in late morning trade after China reported economic growth that slowed less than strategists had forecast.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.7% to 138 as of 10:10 a.m. in Hong Kong. Japan’s Topix index gained 1.9%, while South Korea’s Kospi index added 0.1%. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index advanced 0.4%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.4%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.7% and the Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.3%. Singapore’s Straits Times Index climbed 0.3% and Taiwan’s Taiex index rose 0.1%.

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