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Wall St higher as Merck, Sprint gain

Tuesday, April 29 15:47:28

U.S. stocks rose today following better-than-expected earnings from Merck and Sprint.

The Dow Jones industrial average was outperforming the broader market as component Merck's shares jumped nearly 3 percent to $58.42 after its earnings report.

Britain's Reckitt Benckiser Group confirmed talks to buy Merck's consumer health business, the latest asset up for grabs in a wave of recent pharmaceutical deals.

On the S and P, energy and financial stocks were among the top gainers, with the energy sector up 1.2 percent and the financial sector up 0.9 percent.

Sprint Corp shares jumped nearly 7 percent to $7.92 after the No. 3 U.S. mobile provider reported an increase in quarterly revenue, as expected, due to a new billing plan that lowered wireless expenses.

Twitter is due to report after the market closes Tuesday.

But Coach Inc reported a sharp drop in North American sales as the upscale leather goods maker continued to lose ground to fast-growing rivals in the U.S. handbags market. The stock slumped more than 8 percent to $45.96 and weighed on the S and P retail sector which fell 0.6 percent.

Archer Daniels Midland Co shares fell 3.3 percent to $42.94 after its first-quarter profit and sales missed Wall Street estimates.

"The market has grown more volatile, in a sense that it reacts more to daily news like the earnings. In general, the market is trying to figure out a level that investors are comfortable with and that is why we are seeing big daily swings recently," said Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 91.41 points, or 0.56 percent, to 16,540.15, the S and P 500 gained 8.63 points, or 0.46 percent, to 1,878.06 and the Nasdaq Composite added 16.315 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,090.716.