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Stocks lower in opening moments of trading

October 23, 2009|Associated Press

NEW YORK — An upbeat batch of earnings reports and forecasts helped send stocks up sharply Thursday after a two-day slide.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped nearly 132 points after Wal-Mart Stores offered an optimistic outlook for sales next year and other Dow stocks -- Travelers, McDonald's, 3M and AT&T -- posted stronger results than analysts had forecast.

Financial stocks rallied after PNC Financial Services Group and Fifth Third Bancorp said their bad loans weren't piling up as fast as they had been.

And the Conference Board said its index of leading economic indicators rose 1% last month after a 0.4% gain in August.

Tech stocks could get a lift today from a 62% jump in third-quarter profit reported by after the market closed Thursday. The online retailer brought in more revenue than expected and predicted continued sales growth. The company's shares jumped 15% in after-hours trading after edging up in regular trading.

The Dow rose 131.95 points, or 1.3%, to 10,081.31. The index is 11 points below its highest close of the year, which it reached Monday.

The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 11.51 points, or 1.1%, to 1,092.91. The Nasdaq rose 14.56 points, or 0.7%, to 2,165.29.

Two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange.

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