) -- Stocks finished with solid gains Monday as investors weighed a batch of corporate earnings against weak housing data.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

added 57 points, or 0.6%, to 10,154. The

S&P 500

gained 6 points, or 0.6%, to 1071, while the


went ahead by 19 points, or 0.9%, at 2198.

Earnings news continued after the closing bell.


(IBM) - Get Report

managed to beat profit expectations by 3 cents in reporting earnings of $2.61 a share in the second quarter. Still, the tech giant missed revenue forecasts.

Delta Air Lines

(DAL) - Get Report



(HAL) - Get Report



(HAS) - Get Report

kicked off the week with better-than-expected quarterly profits but both the airline operator and the toy maker missed sales estimates, and Halliburton warned that the deepwater drilling suspension would cut into profits for the rest of the year.

"Earnings season really hasn't been that bad," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners, earlier in the day. "The market is just caught in a rut right now simply because of the fact that it's trying to establish just how much the economy has slowed. Investors are trying to get a sense of earnings growth going forward, but it's too early to get a good grasp of that yet."


Moody's downgraded Ireland's government bond ratings to Aa2 from Aa1, pointing to its loss of financial strength, dismal growth prospects and challenged banking system.

Overseas on Monday, Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.8%. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday. The FTSE in London was lower by 0.3%, and the DAX in Frankfurt was losing 0.05%.

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The Economy

The National Association of Home Builders' July housing market index came in at 14, it's worst level measuring home builder confidence since April 2009, dropping 2 points from June's downwardly revised reading of 16.


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Company News

Also after the bell, chipmaker

Texas Instruments

(TXN) - Get Report

reported second-quarter sales of $3.5 billion, which was a little lighter than expected. Still, it matched consensus profit estimates calling for earnings of 62 cents a share, which was ahead of the 20 cents a share reported at the same time last year. The firm's third-quarter revenue outlook landed in-line with forecasts, ranging from $3.55 billion to $3.85 billion.

On the Dow,


(INTC) - Get Report



(BA) - Get Report

, Alcoa and IBM had the largest gains.

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

was the average's biggest laggard, followed by


(MRK) - Get Report



(WMT) - Get Report


Shares across the

education sector surged on rumors that an expected proposal from the Department of Education regarding gainful employment requirements would be less burdensome than initially planned.

Education Management



Bridgepoint Education

(BPI) - Get Report

jumped 17.3% and 10.3%, respectively, while

Corinthian Colleges



Apollo Group


stocks rose 9.1% and 5.4%, respectively.


(BP) - Get Report

shares shed almost 4% after the White House said the cap used to plug the broken well in the Gulf of Mexico is now leaking from the top.


(BA) - Get Report

got an order for 30 777-300ER planes worth $9.1 billion in list prices from Dubai's Emirates airline.

American International Group

(AIG) - Get Report

named Mark Tucker, former CEO of the U.K.'s


(PUK) - Get Report

, to lead its Asian life insurance business.

Second-quarter net earnings soared 83% higher at

Halliburton, but the company warned that the oil spill-spurred deepwater drilling suspension would carve 5 cents to 8 cents a share from quarterly earnings for the rest of 2010.

Delta surpassed analysts' estimates by 2 cents with a quarterly profit of 65 cents a share, or $549 million, excluding items, marking its best quarterly profit in a decade. Sales, however, came in slightly below expectations at $18.7 billion.

Improved cost-cutting helped to offset lower toy sales at

Hasbro, which reported an 11% jump in second-quarter earnings. Sales slipped 7% lower to $737.8 million, which fell short of the $748.3 million in sales that Wall Street had been projecting.

ATC Technology


agreed to be acquired by

Genco Distribution System

, a third-party provider of logistics services, for $25 a share.

Royal Philips Electronics

(PHG) - Get Report

said second-quarter profits surged on strong sales across its lighting and consumer electronics divisions.


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>>Commodities and the Dollar


Commodities and the Dollar


oil for August delivery settled 53 cents higher, at $76.54 a barrel.

Elsewhere in commodity markets, the August

gold contract traded $6.30 lower to settle at $1,181.90 an ounce.

The dollar was trading higher against a basket of currencies, with the dollar index up by 0.1%.


>>The Economy

>>Company News

>>Commodities and the Dollar



The benchmark 10-year Treasury was down 12/32, raising the yield to 2.968%.

The two-year note was losing 1/32, strengthening the yield to 0.597%. The 30-year bond was down by 30/32, lifting the yield to 3.990%.

--Written by Melinda Peer and Sung Moss in New York