NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks were rising midday Thursday following consensus-topping earnings from Bank of America ( BAC) and Morgan Stanley ( MS) and a Spanish bond auction that went smoothly. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was rising 44.19 points, or 0.34%, to 13,076.94. Leading the Dow higher were two companies that reported earnings Thursday -- Travelers ( TRV) and Verizon ( VZ), and Microsoft ( MSFT), which reports after the markets close.
Shares of Travelers gained 4.88% to $62.37. The insurance company's first-quarter earnings were $806 million, or $2.02 a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $839 million, or $1.92 a share. Analysts, on average, expected earnings of $1.52 a share. TheStreet Ratings gives Travelers a B grade with a buy rating and $68.96 price target. Verizon shares rose 2.12% to $38.46. The telecommunications company reported first-quarter earnings per share of 59 cents, up from year-earlier earnings of 51 cents. Analysts were expecting 58 cents a share. Verizon gets a B- grade with a buy rating and $43.37 price target from TheStreet Ratings. Shares of Microsoft rose 1.5% to $31.61. The software company is scheduled to report fiscal third-quarter results after the close. Analysts, on average, anticipate earnings of 58 cents a share on revenue of $17.18 billion. TheStreet Ratings gives Microsoft an A grade with a buy rating and $35.78 price target. -- Written by Alexandra Zendrian >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Alexandra Zendrian >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to Alexandra Zendrian.