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 April 20, 2017 - 11:54 AM EDT
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Stocks Stronger by Noon

Stocks Stronger by Noon

U.S. stocks rose on Thursday as more companies released quarterly results, including American Express.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 119.78 points to 20,524.27, after the blue-chip index dropped 200 points in the past two days.

The Dow component and credit-card giant reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings, lifted in part by higher spending numbers from card members. American Express contributed about 25 points to the Dow.

The S&P 500 improved 12.15 points to 2,350.32, with financials rising about 1% to lead advancers.

The NASDAQ Composite added 35.81 points to 5,898.85.

Verizon, another Dow member, missed the mark on both earnings and revenue. The company attributed a 5.1% drop in sales to decreased overage revenue, lower postpaid customers in the quarter and continued promotional activity.

Railway company CSX posted better-than-expected results and said it expects profit to jump 25% this year.

In economic news, initial jobless claims rose to 244,000, topping expectations, while the Philadelphia Fed business index fell to 22 in April from 32.8 in March. Leading indicators rose more than expected in March.

Investors also looked ahead to the first round of the French presidential election, which is scheduled for Sunday. Uncertainty around the election has grown over the past month after far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon's surprising surge in the polls.

According to French pollster Ifop, Melenchon was just five percentage points behind the front-runner, centrist Emmanuel Macron as of Wednesday.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note were lower, lifting yields to 2.24% from Wednesday's 2.21%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices found their way higher eight cents at $50.52 U.S. a barrel

Gold prices dropped 20 cents at $1,283.20 U.S. an ounce.

Source: Livemoney (April 20, 2017 - 11:54 AM EDT)

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