Investors begin the day hoping the stock market continues its upward momentum. Strong earnings from tech giants nudged the market to a five-year high on Wednesday. Google and IBM reported surprisingly solid fourth-quarter earnings before the bell. The Dow rose 67 points to close at 13,779. The S&P 500 edged up two points. The Nasdaq composite rose 10.
- Europe's stock markets are broadly higher amid signs the continent's services and manufacturing slump was easing. Shares creeped higher as investors welcomed surveys showing a smaller than forecast contraction in both manufacturing and services in the 17-country eurozone this month. Benchmark crude oil is up over $95 per barrel. The dollar fell against the euro but rose against the yen.
- The Labor Department releases the weekly jobless claims today, and Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, reports on the weekly mortgage rates. Also today, the Conference Board releases leading indicators for December.
- Apple reports its profit surge halted in the latest quarter. A flood of new products like the iPhone 5 meant high start-up costs for new production lines. Apple posted net income for the October to December quarter that was flat with the year before. Net income in the fiscal first quarter was $13.1 billion, or $13.81 per share.
- Toyota and BMW are working together on next-generation batteries for green vehicles called "lithium-air" as their collaboration, first announced in late 2011, moves ahead in fuel cells, sports vehicles and other fields. A BMW spokesman says the cooperation with the Japanese automaker will help both companies boost competitiveness in new technologies.
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