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Merck, IBM shares gain; Dow up 72.

Byline: Jennifer Kaplan

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose as Merck boosted its outlook and IBM increased its dividend before Wednesday's Federal Reserve decision. The Nasdaq 100 Index slid 0.2 percent as Apple slumped.

Merck & Co. added 5 percent after lifting its annual earnings forecast. International Business Machines Corp. climbed 1.9 percent. Twitter Inc. plunged 18 percent after an unexpected early release of its results showed revenue fell short of estimates. Apple Inc. slipped 1.6 percent amid concerns that rapid iPhone growth may not continue. Whirlpool Corp. dropped 7.1 percent after cutting its annual forecast.

"Earnings is driving most everything that's going on right now,'' said Tom Wirth, senior investment officer for Chemung Canal Trust Co. "When I look at the stocks that are doing well and those that aren't doing so well, it's mostly earnings driven here.''

United Parcel Service Inc. gained 3.4 percent after reporting profit that exceeded analysts' estimates, buoyed by an increase in international deliveries and lower fuel costs.

JetBlue Airways Corp. advanced 6.7 percent to an 11-year high after reporting earnings that matched analysts' estimates.

-- Bloomberg News

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Title Annotation:Business
Author:Kaplan, Jennifer
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Apr 29, 2015
Words:188
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