Stocks Ended Choppy Session Mostly Higher

U.S. stocks ended mostly higher in a choppy session on Thursday, as investors managed to focus on positive earnings and stronger-than-expected durable-goods orders. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed unchanged at 16,501.65. The S&P 500 was up 3.22 points, or 0.17%, to 1,878.61. The Nasdaq Composite added 21.37 points, or 0.52%, to 4,148.34.

Microsoft.on Thursday reported a profit of $0.68 per share on revenues of $20.4 billion, which beat the consensus estimate of $0.63 per share on revenues of $20.38 billion.

Starbucks reported a higher quarterly profit in line with Wall Street expectations. For its second fiscal quarter, the company earned $427 million, or 56 cents per share. A year ago, it earned $390.4 million, or 51 cents per share. Revenue rose to $3.87 billion.

Amazon.com Inc (AMZN) reported higher-than-expected revenue growth in the first quarter and boosted its investments in technology, content and warehouses as the e-commerce giant branches out into new businesses. Revenue rose 23 percent to $19.74 billion (11.74 billion pounds), more than the average analyst estimate of $19.4 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Zimmer Holdings Inc. (ZMH), a maker of artificial hips and knees, agreed to acquire rival Biomet Inc. for $13.4 billion to become the second-largest company in the rebounding market for treating muscle and orthopedic injuries.

Facebook Inc has acquired the maker of a mobile app that can track the distance consumers walk or run and measure the calories burned, giving the social networking company an entree into the nascent market for fitness and health monitoring technology.

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