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Stocks Close Higher on Corporate Earnings, Home Sales Data

Stocks climbed, with the S&P 500 extending its longest winning run of the year, as investors digested a diet of earnings.
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Stocks climbed on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 extending its longest winning run of the year, as investors digested earnings reports from companies including McDonald's and Netflix.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed unofficially 65 points higher, the S&P 500 added 7 points and the Nasdaq rose 39 points, or almost 1 percent.

Shares in Allergan jumped 15 percent after Valeant Pharmaceuticals International made a $45 billion bid for the Botox maker. Netflix rallied 7 percent after projecting price hikes for new customers, but McDonald's slipped after posting a lower quarterly profit.

"We've had some high-profile deals in the health care sector that have folks excited, and we've had some good earnings numbers, which is motivating people to buy stocks," said Alan Skrainka, chief investment officer at Cornerstone Wealth Management.

Stocks advanced further after data had existing home sales hitting 4.59 million in March, versus a 4.55 million estimate.

"Stocks are reacting to modestly higher first-quarter earnings that of course are weather impacted, and the housing numbers looked constructive today," said Jim Russell, senior equity strategist for US Bank Wealth Management

The dollar fell against the currencies of major U.S. trading partners while the yield on the 10-year Treasury note used in figuring mortgage rates and other consumer loans held at 2.718 percent.

Crude futures for May delivery fell $2.24 to $102.13 a barrel; gold futures for June delivery fell $7.40 to $1,281.10 an ounce.