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US stocks plow higher as Europe rallies

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

US shares moved higher Tuesday, lifted by European stock market rallies following a four-day Easter holiday weekend and a better-than-expected report on US manufacturing orders.

About 90 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 103.49 points (0.71 percent) at 14,676.34.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 10.69 points (0.68 percent) to 1,572.86, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 26.74 (0.83 percent) at 3,265.91.

"The resilience of the European markets has set a good tone," said Patrick O'Hare of Briefing.com

Tuesday's gains also followed a US Department of Commerce report that showed new orders for manufactured goods rose 3.0 percent in February, solidly topping expectations of a 2.6 percent increase.

Health-care equities rose after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced it would increase payments under the Medicare Advantage program by 3.3 percent in 2014 instead of cutting payments as previously expected.

Dow component UnitedHealth Group Inc. jumped 7.6 percent, Humana put on 7.9 percent, Aetna added 3.9 percent, WellPoint rose 4.1 percent and Cigna jumped 4.5 percent.

Youth-oriented clothing chain Urban Outfitters rose 4.6 percent after disclosing in an SEC filing that comparable store sales in the current quarter were "high single-digit positive."

Nuance Communications, which provides dictation and transcription services, among other voice and language services, gained 5.4 percent after activist investor Carl Icahn took a 9.3 percent stake in the company.

Hewlett-Packard slid 5.2 percent after Goldman Sachs lowered its rating to "sell" from "neutral."

Delta Air Lines fell 7.2 percent after trimming its estimates for March 2013 air travel business.

The Nasdaq OMX Group, which runs the Nasdaq Exchange, dived 11.1 percent after announcing an acquisition of the eSpeed platform for electronic trading in US Treasuries.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.86 percent from 1.84 percent late Monday, while the 30-year yield inched higher to 3.10 compared with 3.09 percent. Bond prices move inversely to yields.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130402/us-stocks-plow-higher-europe-rallies