Stocks close with gains on Monsanto buyback, Aereo ruling

Traders work on the floor of the New Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. Photo Credit: Bloomberg News / Jin Lee

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The stock market closed with gains Wednesday, recovering more than half of what it lost the day before, as investors were able to set aside two disappointing economic reports.

CBS and other broadcasters rose after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of them over a startup Internet company in a closely watched copyright case. Monsanto rose after the agricultural company announced a big stock buyback and reported earnings that beat analysts' estimates.

At the close on Wall Street, the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 9.6 points, or nearly 0.5 percent, to close at 1,959.5. The index fell roughly 13 points the day before. The Nasdaq composite rose 29.4 points, or nearly 0.7 percent, to 4,379.8, and the Dow Jones industrial average gained 49.4 points, or nearly 0.3 percent, to 16,867.5.

Consumer discretionary stocks were among the biggest advancers, a sector that includes broadcasters and other media companies. It was a major win for the broadcast industry, which had argued that Aereo should have to pay for programming the same way cable and satellite providers have to.

Investors seemed fazed by two negative economic reports released Wednesday.

In a revised estimate, the Commerce Department said the U.S. economy shrank at annual rate of 2.9 percent in the first three months of the year. Two-thirds of the downward revision reflected a decline in health care spending. The Commerce Department also said orders for long-lasting goods sank 1 percent in May as demand for military equipment fell sharply.

In other company news:

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-- Monsanto's earnings fell more than 5 percent but its overall results still beat analysts' estimates. The company, which sells corn and soybean seeds, also announced plans to spend up to $10 billion on buying its own stock. Monsanto rose $6.10 to $126.73.

-- Barnes & Noble rose $1.09, or 5 percent, to $21.65 after the bookseller said it would split into two publicly traded companies, one focused on retail bookselling and one on its Nook Media business, which sells electronic reading devices.

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