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July 16, 2014

US stocks up in afternoon trading on earnings news

Strong company earnings helped edge U.S. stocks higher in afternoon trading Wednesday, on pace to bounce back from a mixed finish a day earlier. Investors also welcomed news that Time Warner received a takeover offer from Twenty-First Century Fox, the latest in a wave of corporate deal news this year.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 63 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,124 as of 1:22 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose six points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,980. The Nasdaq composite added 16 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,432.

THE QUOTE: "We've seen some pretty good earnings reports across different sectors," said Dave Roda, regional chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank in the Southeast. "We're seeing a lot of (corporate deals), we're seeing a lot of share buyback announcements, things that really do help prop up markets."

MURDOCH BID: Time Warner soared 16.8 percent after Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox disclosed it made a bid for the media giant last month. Fox said Time Warner rejected its offer. The New York Times is reporting that that bid totaled $80 billion, or $85 in stock and cash for each Time Warner share. Time Warner added $11.90 to $82.91, while Twenty-First Century Fox fell $1.38, or 3.9 percent, to $33.81.

WHEELIN' AND DEALIN': The combination of cheap financing and a tough global economy has made acquisitions an attractive option for companies to expand their business, spurring a large number of corporate deals this year. Fox's proposed bid for Time Warner is a continuation of the nearly record amount of mergers and acquisitions going on this year, said David Chalupnik, head of equities at Nuveen Asset Management.

"Companies are looking at 'how do we grow in this low-growth environment?' and they're turning to M&A," he said.

APPLE DEAL: Apple and IBM rose after the former rivals announced late Tuesday that they will work on mobile applications together in a bid to sell more iPhones and iPads to corporate customers. Apple rose 67 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $95.99. IBM added $4.67, or 2.5 percent, to $193.16.

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