Strong results from Google, IBM push stocks higher

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Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 11:10 am

NEW YORK (AP) -- Strong earnings from tech giants are nudging the stock market higher early Wednesday, ahead of a planned vote in Congress to raise the country's borrowing limit.

Tech giants Google and IBM reported surprisingly solid earnings late Tuesday, a hopeful sign for investors. Analysts had projected technology companies would post weak results in the fourth quarter.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 57 points to 13,769 as of 10:10 a.m. EST. IBM led the Dow's 30 stocks, surging 6 percent.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was flat at 1,492. The Nasdaq composite rose 12 points to 3,155.

House Republicans are expected to vote in the afternoon on a measure to lift the federal government's debt ceiling, giving it enough room to pay its bills for another three months.

Google jumped 6 percent in early trading. Its earnings climbed at the end of last year as online advertisers spent more money in pursuit of holiday shoppers. The stock rose $40.61 to $743.88.

IBM's results beat expectations, thanks to its lucrative Internet-based "cloud" computing business and other software services. IBM also raised its earnings outlook for the current year. Its stock rose $11.36 to $207.48. Apple is scheduled to report its results after the close of trading.

Advanced Micro Devices also reported results that were better than analysts had expected. The world's second-largest maker of microchips, behind Intel, posted a smaller loss and higher revenue than analysts had forecast. AMD jumped 8 percent, making it the top stock in the S&P 500. It rose 22 cents to $2.65.

Coach plunged 14 percent, or $8.64, to $52.04 after the luxury handbag maker said a challenging economy and heavy price-cutting by competitors weighed on its results. Rivals like Michael Kors are attracting loyal followers.

In the bond market, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dipped to 1.82 percent, down from 1.84 percent late Tuesday.

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