Stocks Extend Record Run, Groupon Beats Targets

U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 extending record gains into a fifth session, after companies  projected earnings that beat estimates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 48.92 points, or 0.32%, to 15,105.12. The S&P 500 index rose 6.73 points, or 0.41%, to 1,632.69. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 16.64 points, or 0.49%, to 3,413.27.

Groupon Inc. (GRPN) said that for the quarter ended March 31 it lost $4 million, or a penny a share, on revenue of  $601.4 million. During the same period a year ago, Groupon lost $11.7 million, or 2 cents a share, on $559.3 million in sales.

Activision Blizzard Inc. posted a strong rise in first-quarter earnings, beating Wall Street’s estimates. For the first quarter, Activision reported net income of $456 million, or 40 cents per share, compared with net income of  $384 million, or 33 cents a share, for the same period last year. Revenue rose $1.32 billion from $1.17 billion from last year.

News Corp. (NWSA) said late Wednesday that its fiscal third-quarter earnings rose to $2.85 billion, or $1.22 a share, from $937 million, or 38 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding one-time items, News Corp. would  have reported earnings of 36 cents a share. Revenue increased to $9.54 billion from $8.4 billion last year.

Whole Foods reported comparable store sales grew 6.9% for the quarter ended April 14, slightly better-than-expected. Operating margin was 7.5% against the 7.3% analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected. Gross margin was 36.4%.

Starbucks says it signed a new five-year contract to make single-serve packs for Green Mountain’s Keurig brewing machines, a deal that also expands the companies’ partnership beyond North America.

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