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20.04.2012 17:26

U.S. stocks rose

 

U.S. stocks rose, snapping a two- day decline for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as profits from companies including Microsoft (MSFT) Corp. and General Electric Co. (GE) beat estimates and German business confidence improved.

A report today showed German business confidence unexpectedly increased for a sixth month in April, adding to evidence that Europe’s largest economy can weather the sovereign-debt crisis.

The Group of 20 will announce new funding for the International Monetary Fund’s European reserves that will “satisfy” requests from Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak said. Lagarde, who has called Europe the “epicenter” of risks to the world economy, is seeking more than $400 billion in new funding from member countries.

Dow 13,066.69     +102.59       +0.79%, Nasdaq      3,022.51       +14.95 +0.50%, S&P 500   1,385.05         +8.13   +0.59%

Microsoft (MSFT) rose 5.4 percent to $32.70. The Redmond, Washington-based company reported net income of 60 cents a share, exceeding the 57-cent average estimate of analysts amid better-than-expected sales of Windows and Office software for businesses.

General Electric (GE) rose 1.9 percent to $19.50. The maker of aircraft engines and provider of financial services beat analysts’ earnings estimates as profit gains at its energy business, its largest industrial division, outpaced finance for the first time in two years.

Schlumberger gained 4.3 percent to $72.82. The world’s largest oilfield-services provider said first-quarter profit rose 38 percent as the number of U.S. rigs drilling for oil reached a record.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. climbed 1.1 percent to $8.06. The second-largest maker of processors for personal computers said second-quarter sales will grow about 3 percent from the first three months. That indicates revenue of about $1.63 billion, compared with the $1.59 billion average analyst estimate.

McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) added 2.1 percent to $97.25. The world’s largest restaurant chain reported a 4.8 percent gain in first- quarter profit as new menu items such as Chicken McBites attracted U.S. consumers.

SanDisk, which makes memory chips used in mobile devices, declined 13 percent, the most in the S&P 500, to $35.01 after giving a second-quarter sales forecast that fell short of some analysts’ estimates. Chip production at SanDisk and its rivals is outpacing demand, causing prices to fall, Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Mehrotra said on a conference call with analysts yesterday. Some of the company’s customers also ordered fewer chips for mobile phones than SanDisk had predicted, he said.

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