U.S. stocks rose, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index higher for a second day, after results from Merck & Co. to Sprint Corp. topped estimates as the Federal Reserve begins a two-day policy meeting.
Merck gained 2.8 percent as earnings were helped by cuts in spending on promotions and research. Sprint added 11 percent after sales beat estimates as the company held onto more subscribers than forecast. Coach Inc. fell 8.9 percent after sales at its North American stores plunged 21 percent amid increased competition and bad weather.
The S&P 500 climbed 0.3 percent to 1,874.42 at 11:15 a.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 61.81 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,510.55. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.3 percent, after jumping 0.7 percent in the first half hour of trading. Trading in S&P 500 stocks was in line with the 30-day average at this time of day.
“Earnings have been beating expectations and guidance will remain strong for coming quarters because of this spring thaw and economic rebound,” Patrick Spencer, who helps oversee more than $100 billion as London-based head of equity sales at Robert W. Baird & Co., said in a telephone interview. “That will continue to underpin the market.”
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