Encouraging signs out of China and Europe helped stocks finish the trading session sharply higher. The Dow rose 181 points, or 1.4 percent, to 12,987. The S&P added 19 points, while the Nasdaq surged 39.
- Google plans to split its stock 2-for-1 in part to preserve its leadership's voting power, issuing new non-voting shares. Google reported better-than-expected earnings after the closing bell.
- California is one step closer to building a bullet train system as the project won approval from the state's High-Speed Rail Authority. The nearly $70 billion project requires approval of the state legislature to authorize a bond sale.
- Barnes & Noble is tackling one of the complaints surrounding black-and-white e-readers, by creating a screen that can be read in the dark. The new "Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight" has an array of light-emitting diodes inside the frame that spreads a glow over the page with the help of an invisible light-guiding layer. It will be in stores early next month at a cost of $139.
- Crude oil prices headed higher today. Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude gained 94 cents to finish at $103.64 a barrel in New York.