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US: Stocks gain on Brexit progress, Netflix results

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Wall Street stocks rose on Thursday after Britain and the EU announced a new Brexit deal and as Netflix and Morgan Stanley gained on solid earnings.

[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks rose on Thursday after Britain and the EU announced a new Brexit deal and as Netflix and Morgan Stanley gained on solid earnings.

Analysts welcomed news that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reached an agreement with European Union leaders on a divorce deal that amends the prior agreement's provisions on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Markets shrugged off opposition to the agreement from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which could potentially sink the agreement.

Alan Skrainka of Cornerstone Wealth Management acknowledged there were doubts about the deal's prospects but said "this is really the first tangible sign of progress we've had in some time."

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.1 per cent, closing at 27,025.88.

The broad-based S&P 500 climbed 0.3 per cent to 2,997.95, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.4 percent to 8,156.85.

Besides Brexit and developments in the grinding US-China trade war, investors have been focused on corporate earnings this week.

The latest batch of results were mixed, with IBM diving 5.5 per cent after reporting a four percent drop in revenues to US$18.0 billion.

But Netflix gained 2.5 per cent as it reported a 65 per cent increase in quarterly profits to US$665 million and executives expressed confidence despite increased competition from Disney, Apple and others in video streaming.

Morgan Stanley advanced 1.5 percent after reporting a 2.9 per cent increase in quarterly earnings to US$2.2 billion, due in part to a strong performance in its trading division.

Among other companies reporting results, Alcoa surged 6.0 per cent and Honeywell International gained 2.4 per cent.

AFP