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Earnings push stocks higher...US Steel turns profit...Apple, Samsung closing arguments

Tuesday - 4/29/2014, 6:28pm  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Solid earnings continue to pump the stock market higher. More than half the companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 have now released their first quarter earnings. The reports have contained enough good news that the S&P has gained 2.1 percent over the past two weeks. Today the S&P added nearly nine points, closing at 1,878. The Dow rose 86 to 16,535, while the Nasdaq composite gained 29 points, finishing at 4,103.

UNDATED (AP) -- U.S. Steel says it's turned a quarterly profit, after losing money for five consecutive years. The company says it earned $52 million, or 34 cents per share, as costs decreased and its flat-rolled steel business performed better. Also turning in upbeat financial results after the closing bell is Marriott. A recovering economy and demand for hotel rooms helped lift Marriott International's first-quarter net income 26 percent.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Express Scripts says its first-quarter earnings fell 12 percent. The nation's largest pharmacy benefits manager posted lower revenue and scaled back its 2014 earnings-per-share guidance. Among the reasons, Express Scripts cites delays in several customer implementation plans.

UNDATED (AP) -- A couple of online companies are posting first quarter losses, but both reports have a bright side. EBay says a $3 billion tax charge on foreign earnings is to blame for its $2.3 billion loss. However, eBay's revenue jumped with more customers shopping at its site and its PayPal payments business remaining strong. Twitter says stock compensation costs led to $132 million loss, but a sharp increase in ad revenue brightened its picture. Both Twitter and eBay's results beat Wall Street expectations.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Lawyers for Apple and Samsung have been making closing arguments at a patent trial in California. After Apple recalled the innovations of its founder Steve Jobs, Samsung lawyer William Price argued the Korean company didn't copy Apple's iPhone in creating its own smartphones and tablets. He says Samsung engineers used the Google-developed software Android to create its devices. And, Price says Apple filed the lawsuit solely because Jobs and other executives had declared a "holy war" on Google.

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