Stocks close higher on earnings, U.S. data

Specialists Charles Solomon, left, and Michael Pistillo work Specialists Charles Solomon, left, and Michael Pistillo work on the floor of the NYSE Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. The U.S. stock market stumbled briefly after the Federal Reserve decided to further reduce its economic stimulus. Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

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It was a stock market turnaround.

Stocks rose sharply Thursday, with large parts of the market erasing losses from the previous day as investors cheered a batch of strong earnings and data that showed the U.S. economy grew at a robust annual rate in the fourth quarter.

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Investors also got a welcome respite from the recent turmoil in overseas markets, particularly in Turkey and Argentina.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 1.13 percent to 1,794.19, which more than made up the 18.29 points the index lost on Wednesday. The Nasdaq composite jumped 1.77 percent to 4,123.13, and the Dow Jones industrial average rose 109.82 points to 15,848.61.

Investors welcomed news that U.S. economy grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the final three months of 2013, a positive sign for the economy in 2014. Consumer spending, a major driver of the U.S. economy, picked up in the quarter.

Good news from a big technology player also boosted the market. Facebook jumped 14.10 percent to $61.08. The social media company reported results late Wednesday that exceeded the expectations of financial analysts. Facebook's adjusted profit was 31 cents per share, four cents better than forecast. -- AP

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