US stocks : Dow up 0.5 pct
The S&P 500 index is on track to rise for a sixth straight day and is nearing 1,500, a level last reached Dec. 12, 2007.
Thomson Reuters data through Wednesday showed that of the 99 S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings so far, 67.7 percent have topped expectations, above the 65 percent average beat over the past four quarters.
McDonald's edged up 0.6 percent to $93.52 after reporting a rise in fourth-quarter earnings, lifted by an increase in same-store sales. Fellow Dow component United Technology Corp's earnings fell from the prior year, hurt by large restructuring charges. Its shares rose 0.6 percent to $87.99.
Upscale leather goods maker Coach Inc plunged 15.7 percent to $51.18 as the S&P's worst performer after reporting sales that missed expectations.
After the market closes, investors will scour Apple's results, with the options market bracing for a big move in Apple shares after its earnings amid a dramatic plunge in recent weeks of shares of the world's most valuable publicly traded company. Apple shares rose on Tuesday 1.1 percent to $510.54.
Overall, S&P 500 fourth-quarter earnings rose 2.8 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data. That estimate is above the 1.9 percent forecast at the start of earnings season.
Clearing a market hurdle, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a Republican-led plan to extend the country's borrowing authority until May 19. This delays a confrontation in Congress similar to one in 2011, which generated a stalemate that triggered the first
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