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US stocks edge higher as Hulu boosts Time Warner

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[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks were slightly higher early Wednesday as Time Warner shares rose on news of its investment in streaming video company Hulu.

Time Warner rose 2.8 per cent after announcing it was taking a 10 per cent stake in Hulu, a streaming video provider that is ramping up as a competitor to sector leader Netflix.

Other early gainers included Dow members Apple and Goldman Sachs, both of which were up about 1.0 per cent and JPMorgan Chase, up 0.7 per cent.

Payrolls firm ADP reported that private US companies added 179,000 new jobs in July, slightly better than expected.

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About 20 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 18,317.60, up less than 0.1 per cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 added less than 0.1 per cent at 2,157.27, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.1 per cent to 5,141.09.

Insurer AIG surged 6.9 per cent after reporting better-than-expected earnings in the second quarter and announcing plans for US$3 billion in share repurchases.

Women's handbag maker Kate Spade plunged 19.4 per cent as it slashed its full-year forecast, in part due to weakness in the tourism business. It now expects full-year earnings per share of between 63 cents and 70 cents per share, down from the prior range of between 70 and 80 cents per share.