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Earnings gains drive stocks higher in early trade

July 18, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — Solid earnings gains at major U.S. companies are driving stocks higher in early trading on Wall Street.

The advance put the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index back into record territory.

The Dow was up 73 points, or 0.5 percent, at 15,542 after the first few minutes of trading Thursday. The gains were led by IBM and UnitedHealth.

The S&P 500 was up five points, or 0.3 percent, at 1,686.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite was up just one point, or 0.03 percent, at 3,611. The Nasdaq was held back by declines in Intel and eBay, which reported disappointing results late Wednesday.

Financial stocks were among the early gainers. Morgan Stanley rose 3.7 percent to $27.50 after reporting a big earnings increase on investment banking.

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