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US stocks rise as busy earnings week opens

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(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)

US stocks Monday rose in early trade following a holiday-lengthened weekend as a busy week of earnings kicked off with solid reports from Halliburton and Kimberly-Clark.

About 30 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 40.84 points (0.25 percent) to 16,449.38.

The broad-based S&P 50 added 4.90 (0.26 percent) at 1,869.75, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 17.04 (0.42 percent) to 4,112.56.

With a relatively light slate of economic data, investors are focused on corporate earnings results. Major companies to report this week include Apple, Boeing, Caterpillar and General Motors.

Both oil-services company Halliburton and consumer-goods company Kimberly-Clark bested expectations in the first quarter reports.

Operating earnings at Halliburton rose to 73 cents per share, two cents better than expectations. The company reported strong revenue increases in most regions, including North America and Middle East/Africa, making up for declines in Latin America. Shares jumped 4.2 percent.

Kimberly-Clark, which makes Kleenex and Huggies among other personal-care products, dipped 1.1 percent despite earnings that bested expectations by a penny at $1.48 a share. But sales slipped 1 percent from a year ago to $5.28 billion, below the analyst projection of $5.32 billion.

Toymaker Hasbro reported earnings per share of 14 cents compared with expectations of 10 cents. Revenues came in at $679.5 million, below the $690.2 million projected by analysts. Shares rose 0.6 percent.

A report that pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is considering a $100 billion takeover of British rival AstraZeneca lifted Pfizer 1.5 percent. US shares of AstraZeneca jumped 5.6 percent.

Newmont Mining shot up 6.8 percent on reports that merger talks with Barrick Gold could be revived. Barrick fell 2.0 percent.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 2.70 percent from 2.72 percent Thursday, while the 30-year declined to 3.49 percent from 3.52 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140421/us-stocks-rise-busy-earnings-week-opens