Tech giants muscle Dow to 5-year high
Strong earnings from tech giants nudged the stock market to a five-year high Wednesday. Investors drew encouragement from a vote by the House of Representatives to let the government keep paying all of its bills for another four months.
IBM's results beat expectations, thanks to its lucrative Internet-based "cloud computing" business and sales of software services to Brazil, Russia and other developing countries.
IBM led the Dow's 30 stocks, rising $8.64 to $204.72. Without IBM's 4.41 percent gain, the Dow would have been nearly flat.
Other indexes made slight gains. The Standard & Poor's 500 index inched up 0.15 percent to 1,494.81, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index rose 0.33 percent to 3,153.67.
The quarterly earnings season is off to strong start. Of the 83 companies in the S&P 500 that reported through Tuesday, 54 have beaten Wall Street's estimates, according to S&P Capital IQ.