Stocks Opened Higher on Positive Earnings

U.S. stocks began Friday with strong gains on better-than-expected quarterly results from corporations including General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE) and McDonald’s Corp.’s (NYSE:MCD). The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately added 83.93 points, or 0.65%, to 13,048.03. The S&P 500 rose 6.76 points, or 0.49%, to 1,383.68. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 18.43 points, or 0.61%, to 3,025.99.

General Electric Co topped Wall Street’s profit and revenue forecasts for the first quarter, helped by strong demand for energy equipment and railroad locomotives. The largest U.S. conglomerate said industrial orders had risen 20 percent in the quarter and that selling prices had improved in most of businesses.

McDonald’s Corp. reported 7 percent jump in first quarter profit, in line with Wall Street expectations. For the first three months of the year, McDonald’s reported a profit of $1.27 billion, or $1.23 per share. That compares with a profit of $1.21 billion, or $1.15 per share, in the year-ago period.

When the International Monetary Fund meets this weekend, its top goal will be as simple as it is difficult: Get member nations to pledge many more billions in aid — in case the IMF needs to rescue more European economies.

Kraft Foods Inc. said Friday that it signed a deal that will allow Costa Coffee stores to sell its Tassimo single-cup coffee machines in the United Kingdom and make Costa beverages available using the machines.

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