US stocks rise as companies post strong results

US stocks rise as corporate earnings strengthen; nerves about Europe ease after fearsome day

Associated Press
Strong earnings from AT&T, 3M lift Dow average
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In an April 16, 2012 photo trader Damian Bagarozza left, and specialist Joseph Mastrolia work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Wall Street was headed for a higher open Tuesday April 24, 2012, with Dow Jones industrial futures gaining 0.2 percent and S&P 500 futures up 0.3. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Strong earnings by big U.S. companies are pushing the Dow Jones industrial average higher at midday.

The Dow rose as many as 123 points Tuesday morning, led by AT&T and 3M. Both companies posted better than expected earnings. Six of the 30 companies in the Dow were up more than 1.5 percent.

Hershey also beat expectations. The chocolate maker rose the most in the Standard & Poor's 500 index.

Apple will report its results after the market closes. Its stock fell two percent, limiting gains for the Nasdaq composite average.

The Dow was up 99 points at 13,025 just before noon. The S&P 500 rose six to 1,372. The Nasdaq fell one to 2,969.

European stocks posted a late rally after the debt crisis there showed signs of easing.

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