Stocks Begin Higher on Earnings

U.S. stocks opened higher on Friday on improving profit from Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE:PG) and as European banks paid off debt. The Dow industrials lately added 43.83 points, or 0.32%, to 13,869.16. The S&P 500 advanced 5.65 points, or 0.38%, to 1,500.47. The Nasdaq Composite added 17.47 points, or 0.56%, to 3,147.85.

Household products giant Procter & Gamble (PG) reported quarterly earnings and revenue on Thursday that beat analysts’ expectations. The company reported fiscal second-quarter earnings excluding items of $1.22 per share, up from $1.10 a share a year ago. Revenue rose to $22.18 billion from $22.14 billion a year ago.

Honeywell International Inc (HON) posted fourth-quarter earnings just above Wall Street estimates.  Its earnings came to $251 million, or 32 cents per share. For the year-earlier period, the company booked a loss of $310 million, or 40 cents per share. Overall profit margins rose to 15.6 percent of sales from 15.1 percent a year earlier.

A device seen as key to explaining why a Boeing Co (BA) 787 Dreamliner jet made an emergency landing in Japan last week is burnt and unlikely to provide safety inspectors with data they need, said a person with knowledge of the ongoing investigation.

Cisco Systems Inc. agreed to sell its home-networking business, including the well-known Linksys brand, to Belkin International Inc., as it continues to retrench around its core business of selling technology to businesses.

The price of oil topped $96 per barrel Friday despite ample stockpiles of crude amid signs of growth in the world’s two largest economies. Benchmark oil for March delivery was up 31 cents to $96.26 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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