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Big Gain in Visa Boosts Dow Average    10/30 17:06

   Solid quarterly results from a range of big companies helped send the stock 
market slightly higher Thursday. The standout was Visa, whose 10 percent jump 
helped tug the Dow Jones industrial average up nearly 200 points.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- Solid quarterly results from a range of big companies 
helped send the stock market slightly higher Thursday. The standout was Visa, 
whose 10 percent jump helped tug the Dow Jones industrial average up nearly 200 
points.

   Visa, the world's largest payment-processing company, turned in quarterly 
earnings late Wednesday that topped Wall Street's forecasts and announced plans 
to spend as much as $5 billion on buying its own shares. Visa's stock gained 
$21.99 to $236.65.

   For investors, there was plenty of encouraging news. Before the market 
opened, the government said that the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3.5 
percent in the three months ending in September, powered by more business 
investment, sales abroad and the biggest jump in military spending in five 
years.

   "It's another report that indicates the economy can stand on its own two 
feet," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital 
Management, referring to the government's estimate of economic growth.

   The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 12.35 points, or 0.6 percent, to 
close at 1,994.65. The Nasdaq composite rose 16.91 points, or 0.4 percent, to 
4,566.14.

   The Dow Jones industrial average surged 221.11 points, or 1.3 percent, to 
17,195.42. Unlike other market measures, the Dow weighs its roster of 30 large 
corporations by their stock prices rather than by their market size. That means 
companies with the most expensive stocks, such as Visa and Goldman Sachs, have 
more power to drive the average up or down.

   The world's second-largest card-payment company, MasterCard, said its 
third-quarter profit surged as Americans appeared less hesitant to use their 
debit and credit cards. The results beat Wall Street's expectations, propelling 
MasterCard's stock up $7.14, or 9 percent, to $83.13.

   Sam Stovall, chief equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ, saw a number of 
optimistic signs for the market. Reports that Visa and MasterCard are handling 
more transactions could mean that Americans will be more likely to open their 
wallets during the holiday shopping season. What's more, the market is 
approaching a stretch that nearly always rewards investors.

   "We're entering the best six months of the year, November through April," 
Stovall said. Since World War II, the market has climbed 94 percent of the 
time, for an average gain of 15 percent.

   Rising corporate earnings have helped turn the market higher in recent 
weeks. More than half of the S&P 500's members have released their 
third-quarter results, and roughly seven out of 10 have beaten Wall Street's 
targets, according to S&P Capital IQ. Third-quarter earnings are now on track 
to increase nearly 7 percent, with health-care companies reporting the largest 
profit gains.

   BorgWarner, a maker of car parts, said a slide in the value of foreign 
currencies against the dollar will hamper its results this year. The company, 
which operates in 19 countries, cut its forecast for full-year profits and 
sales. BorgWarner slumped $2.49, or 4 percent, to $54.37.

   In Europe, France's CAC 40 gained 0.7 percent and Germany's DAX edged up 0.4 
percent. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.1 percent.

   Back in the U.S., the price of the 10-year Treasury note edged up, and its 
yield, which moves in the opposite direction, slipped to 2.31 percent from 2.32 
percent late Wednesday.

   Gold lost $26.30 to settle at $1,198.60 an ounce, silver fell 84 cents to 
$16.42 an ounce and copper fell four cents to $3.06 a pound.

   In other commodity trading, the price of oil fell as the dollar 
strengthened, making oil priced in dollars less attractive to overseas buyers. 
Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.08 to close at $81.12 a barrel on the New York 
Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by 
many U.S. refineries, fell 88 cents to close at $86.24 on the ICE Futures 
exchange in London.

   In other energy futures trading on the NYMEX:

   --- Wholesale gasoline fell 2.5 cents to close at $2.196 a gallon.

   --- Heating oil fell 2.2 cents to close at $2.513 a gallon.

   --- Natural gas rose 3.9 cents to close at $3.827 per 1,000 cubic feet.


(KA)


 
 
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