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The close: U.S. stocks hit three-year high Add to ...

U.S. stocks jumped on Tuesday, following a busy round of earnings reports and a better-than-expected reading on consumer confidence, while some commodity producers weighed on Canada's benchmark index.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 12,595.37, up 115.49 points or 0.9 per cent. The broader S&P 500 closed at 1347.24, up 11.99 points or 0.9 per cent - marking its highest close since June, 2008. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index closed at 13,909.10, up 1.78 points.

Ford Motor Co. rose 0.8 per cent after it reported its biggest first-quarter profit in 13 years. United Parcel Service Inc. rose 0.9 per cent after its quarterly profit rose 66 per cent and it raised its forecast.

This was by no means a sweep - but investors didn't take earnings disappointments as indicative of the wider market. Coca-Cola Co. fell 1.2 per cent after its earnings rose 18 per cent over last year, missing expectations by a penny.

As well, Netflix Inc. tumbled 9 per cent after the online movie distributor reported better-than-expected earnings on Monday evening. The company's forecast for the second quarter missed exceptionally bullish predictions from analysts.

In Canada, materials stocks were weak after investors continued to punish Barrick Gold Corp. following its $7.3-billion deal to acquire copper producer Equinox Minerals Ltd. Barrick shares fell 3.5 per cent.

Other gold producers were hit by slightly softer gold prices, which fell to $1,503.50 (U.S.) an ounce, down $5.60. Goldcorp Inc. fell 1.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, Rogers Communications Inc. rose 1.1 per cent during regular trading hours. After markets closed, the cable and wireless company reported net earnings of $335-million (Canadian) or 60 cents a share, down from 62 cents a share last year. After excluding some one-time items, earnings topped analysts' expectations.

 

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