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US stocks rising as earnings impress investors

Stocks are turning higher in early trading Wednesday on strong earnings reports and a rise in crude oil prices. Several energy companies are rising sharply after getting a beat-down the day before. Oil-rig operator Transocean is up 5 percent.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 40 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,004 as of 10:19 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed five points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,984. The Nasdaq composite increased two points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 4,651.

FLYING HIGH: Air Transport Services jumped $2.71, or 23 percent, to $14.48 after turning in solid results and saying it will operate an air transport network for Amazon.

CHOW WOW: Pet-food company Blue Buffalo Pet Products rose $3.04, or 16 percent, $21.60 after posting strong earnings.

OIL BOOST: Crude oil continued its climb from 13-year lows earlier this year. A barrel of benchmark U.S. crude was up 63 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $37.13 a barrel. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, rose 61 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $40.26 a barrel.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: The S&P 500 has tripled since bottoming out at 676.53 exactly seven years ago during the financial crisis. It is the third longest of 11 bull markets since World War II.

ECB IN FOCUS: Investors expect the European Central Bank will announce more efforts to stimulate the 19-country eurozone at the end of its policy meeting on Thursday. Possible moves include another cut in the deposit rate for funds from commercial banks to even further below zero in an effort to get banks to lend more. The ECB also could increase its bond-buying program to pump more money into the economy.

EUROPE HIGHER: Germany’s DAX was up 0.8 percent while the CAC-40 in France rose 0.9 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.3 percent. All three indexes fell nearly 1 percent on Tuesday.

ANALYST’S TAKE: “European stocks have stormed back to life this morning, evidently in anticipation that the European Central Bank will ease its policy further,” said Fawad Razaqzada, technical analyst at Forex.com. The ECB stimulus is needed to “boost growth and create inflation in an economy which is lacking on both fronts.”

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.8 percent while South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.3 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped 0.1 percent.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.86 percent from 1.83 percent. The euro fell to $1.0962 from $1.1002. The dollar edged up to 112.95 yen from 112.61 yen.

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