April 24, 2009 at 09:40 AM EDT
Upbeat Corporate Earnings Lift Stocks
Investors were gratified with corporate earnings news that surpassed lowered expectations. The Dow rose 40 points to a shade below 8000 while Nasdaq climbed 11 points to 1663.

On the upside

Ford (NYSE: F) posted a $1.4 billion quarterly loss, but the automaker expected to return to profitability without having to draw from federal bailout funds. The stock surged.

3M (NYSE: MMM), the maker of Post-it notes and Scotch tap, reported earnings that nearly fell in half and lowered its outlook for the year. The company annnounced another round of job cuts of 1200 positions.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) reported lower quarterly revenues, but analysts were optimistic about its upcoming Windows 7 operating system.

Shares of Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) rose after the online retailer posted higher 1st quarter revenues and sales that beat estimates.

Shares of Riverbed Technology (Nasdaq: RVBD) soared after the data service provider reported higher 1st quarter profits.

On the downside

City National (NYSE: CYN) posted sharply lower quarterly earnings and announced plans to eliminate its dividend. Analysts promptly downgraded the California-based commercial bank.

Shares of Interactive Brokers (Nasdaq: IBKR) fell after the market maker and electronic brokerage posted sharply lower revenues and earnings.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 2 points to 469.

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