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US: Stocks rise on China stimulus hopes


[NEW YORK] US stocks opened higher Wednesday following mixed earnings reports as a weak Chinese economic report fueled talk of more monetary stimulus in the world's second-biggest economy.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 18,109.30, up 72.60 points (0.40 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 8.08 (0.39 per cent) to 2,103.92, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 15.40 (0.31 per cent) to 4,992.69.

Bank of America dropped 0.8 per cent after returning to profitability in the first quarter with US$3.4 billion, compared with a loss of US$276 billion a year ago on a huge legal charge. But the bank's trading performance was lackluster.

Dow member Intel jumped 2.0 per cent as first-quarter net income rose three per cent to US$2 billion despite weakness in its personal computer-related business.

China's economy slowed to an annual growth rate of 7.0 per cent in the first quarter, official data showed Wednesday. That marked the weakest expansion since the first quarter of 2009, at the height of the global financial crisis, stoking speculation that the government will step up actions to support the economy.


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