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US: Stocks up at start of heavy earnings week

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[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks advanced early Monday ahead of a heavy week of corporate earnings including major companies such as Bank of America, Netflix, General Electric and others.

Companies in the S&P 500 are expected to report 9.2 per cent growth in first-quarter earnings, according to FactSet.

Investors also were fixated on tensions between Washington and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, as well as the tight presidential election in France on Sunday that is expected to see far-right nationalist candidate Marine Le Pen advance to the second round of voting.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 20,515.17, up 0.3 per cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.2 per cent to 2,333.52, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.3 per cent to 5,829.13.

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Alere, which sells diagnostic tools to the health industry, surged 16.3 per cent on news it agreed to amend the terms of its sale to Abbott for US$5.3 billion, down from US$5.8 billion when it was announced in January 2016. The moves put the deal back on track after Abbott had said it might not be complete. Abbott dipped 0.5 per cent.

Eli Lilly dropped 4.5 per cent on news the US Food and Drug Administration did not approve the drugmaker's application for baricitinib, a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.


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