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Stocks End Higher for 3rd Day in a Row 04/16 16:45

   Major U.S. stock indexes notched their third day of gains in a row. 

   (AP) -- Investors drove stock prices to their highest level in a week 
Wednesday, encouraged by a crop of corporate earnings and reassuring U.S. and 
Chinese economic data.

   Major U.S. stock indexes notched their third day of gains in a row. Yahoo 
and Delta Air Lines were among the companies posting big gains. The gains were 
broad; for every stock that declined, nearly four rose.

   The market is coming back from a steep drop at the end of last week led by 
Internet and biotechnology stocks. That move away from some of the riskier, 
high-priced stocks that drove down the market is nearly, if not completely done 
now, said Jim Russell, senior equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

   "We did think that last week's downside volatility would be limited, and 
we're very heartened to see a rebound for the first three days this week," he 
said.

   Stocks started climbing from the opening bell on Wednesday as investors 
cheered the latest quarterly earnings report from Yahoo. The Web pioneer 
reported late Tuesday that it is making most of its money from its stakes in 
two Asian Internet companies: China's Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan.

   The market also welcomed a Chinese government report showing that the 
world's second-largest economy grew 7.4 percent from a year earlier in the 
January-March quarter. A favorable report on U.S. factory production helped 
keep investors in a buying mood.

   Unlike Monday and Tuesday, the rally didn't falter during the day. Instead, 
the buying gained momentum in the afternoon after the Federal Reserve said its 
latest survey showed economic growth picking up across most of the U.S. over 
the past two months as bitter winter weather subsided.

   "Yesterday was just a crazy day. We were all over the map, and finally today 
we are showing some strength," said Erik Davidson, deputy chief investment 
officer of Wells Fargo Private Bank.

   All told, the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 19.33 points, or 1.1 percent, 
to 1,862.31. All ten industry sectors in the S&P 500 increased, led by 
industrial stocks, including several airlines and transportation companies.

   The Dow Jones industrial average added 162.29 points, or 1 percent, to 
16,424.85. The Nasdaq composite rose 52.06 points, or 1.3 percent, to 4,086.22.

   The three major stock indexes are each up for the week, but remain down for 
the month after several days of choppy trading. The three-day rise in stock 
prices helped push the S&P 500 index up 0.8 percent so far this year.

   Investors are closely monitoring company earnings this week as they try to 
assess whether the impact of a severe winter has begun to ease. Financial 
analysts expect first-quarter earnings for companies the S&P 500 to fall about 
1.2 percent, according to S&P Capital IQ.

   "It's not like things are all hunky-dory with the economy, with profits, 
with revenue, and yet we keep clearing relatively low bars," Davidson said.

   Google and IBM fell sharply in after-hours trading after their quarterly 
results disappointed investors.

   Google's newly issued Class C stock fell $32.54, or 6 percent, to $524 after 
the company reported that its growth faltered as online advertising prices 
continued to fall. IBM's stock fell $7.45, or 4 percent, to $189 after 
reporting that its revenue fell from a year ago and came in below what analysts 
were expecting.

   Technology stocks have come under selling pressure in recent weeks as 
investors question whether the sector has become too expensive. Even after a 
recent sell-off that brought the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite 6 percent below 
its recent peak reached Mar. 5, the index is still up 25 percent over the past 
year, versus 18 percent for the S&P 500.

   Yahoo topped the gainers in the S&P 500. The stock jumped $2.14, or 6.3 
percent, to $36.35.

   Several airline stocks were also among the market's big risers: Delta Air 
Lines added $1.71, or 5.4 percent, to $33.62, while JetBlue rose 49 cents, or 6 
percent, to $8.80. American Airlines rose $1.79, or 5.3 percent, to $35.51.

   Among other the stocks making news Wednesday:

   -- Bank of America fell 2 percent after booking $6 billion in legal costs 
over its home loan practices. The stock fell 26 cents to $16.13.

   -- CSX fell 50 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $27.79. Severe winter weather 
contributed to a 14 percent drop in the railroad company's first-quarter 
earnings. 


(KA)


 
 
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