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Strong Earnings Boost Markets

Strong earnings news restored investor confidence to lift the markets to a sharply higher open with the Dow soaring 104 points to 13,031. Nasdaq added 2 points to 2972.

On the upside

First quarter earnings slipped for Baker Hughes (NYSE: BHI) as expenses rose but the results beat analyst expectations.

The Hershey Co. (NYSE: HSY) reported higher first quarter earnings that topped analyst estimates prompting the candy maker to lift its full year revenue guidance.

Central European Distribution (Nasdaq: CEDC).

On the downside

Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) reported a loss for the first quarter and warned that subscriber growth for its video streaming service would slow.

Big Lots (NYSE: BIG) warned that same store sales may slip for the first quarter.

Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC) said that fourth quarter earnings and revenue will miss expectations.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 3 points to 795.

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