Tech giants muscle Dow to 5-year high

Trader Michael Zicchinolfi, left, and specialist Michael Pistillo

Trader Michael Zicchinolfi, left, and specialist Michael Pistillo work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday. McDonald's Corp. on Wednesday topped expectations for the quarter and the full year, after a strong showing in the tech sector late Tuesday from Google, IBM and Cree Inc. (Jan. 22, 2013) (Credit: AP)

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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.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 67.12 points to close at 13,779.33. That's the highest level since Oct. 31, 2007, a month before the recession started.

Google and IBM reported surprisingly solid fourth-quarter earnings late Tuesday, a hopeful sign for investors who expected tech companies to struggle at the end of last year.

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.

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