Stocks Rise After Debt-Ceiling Deal

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Major U.S. stock averages advanced Wednesday, helped by upbeat earnings from high-profile companies and a debt-ceiling deal.

Apple ( AAPL) shares jumped 1.8% to $514 ahead of the company's fourth-quarter earnings report. After the stock market closed, the tech giant said profit was $13.81 a share, beating analysts' estimates of $13.53 a share, while revenue was $54.5 billion, trailing estimates of $54.9 billion. The shares subsequently tumbled, trading as low as $485.

United Technologies ( UTX) edged up 0.7% after the industrial giant's earnings Wednesday. Google ( GOOG) shares jumped 5.5% and IBM ( IBM) shares popped 4.4% after their fourth-quarter reports Tuesday evening.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 67 points, or 0.5%, to 13,779. The blue-chip index climbed for the ninth session out of 10, a streak last seen in February 2011.

Breadth was negative, with losers outnumbering winners 17 to 12. Coca-Cola ( KO) finished unchanged. Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ), Merck ( MRK), Cisco ( CSCO) and Caterpillar ( CAT) shares were declining the most.

McDonald's ( MCD) shares were up 0.6% after the company posted fourth-quarter earnings of $1.38 a share on revenue of $6.95 billion, topping the Wall Street consensus estimate of $1.33 a share on revenue of $6.89 billion as the company focused on offering affordable menu options. For the near-term, the restaurant chain expects revenue and profit growth to remain pressured, with January's global comparable sales expected to be negative.

The top percentage blue-chip winners were IBM, Microsoft ( MSFT) and Walt Disney ( DIS).

IBM topped Wall Street's fourth-quarter earnings estimates, boosted by strength in its software business.

United Technologies posted fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday of $1.04 a share on revenue of $16.4 billion, versus the average analyst expectation of earnings of $1.03 a share on revenue of $16.63 billion. The company reaffirmed its 2013 earnings per share outlook of $5.85 to $6.15 a share, saying that it was seeing improvements in order trends.

Microsoft shares rose 1.7%. Reports said Tuesday that Microsoft could invest as much as $3 billion in an eventual takeover of struggling PC maker Dell ( DELL). Dell shares were down 0.3% after jumping Tuesday on the reports.

The S&P 500 added 2 points, or 0.2%, to 1,495. The Nasdaq was higher by 10 points, or 0.3%, to 3,154.

In the broad market, sectors were mixed, led lower by consumer cyclicals, utilities and basic materials. The technology, services and consumer non-cyclicals climbed.

Volumes rose to 3.51 billion on the New York Stock Exchange and 1.69 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners edged advancers by a ratio of 1.1-to-1 on the Big Board and 1.4-to-1 on the Nasdaq.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives overwhelmingly extended the debt ceiling out to May 19 by a 285-144 vote.

President Barack Obama indicated Tuesday that he would not oppose the plan, while U.S. Senator Harry Reid said he is happy to see the clean debt ceiling legislation in the House, and that it's a "big step in the right direction."

"The worst fears of a disorderly default ... in early March won't come to pass, apparently," RBS strategists said.

The economic calendar was thin Wednesday. The FHFA Housing Price Index rose 0.6% for November after rising by an upwardly revised 0.6% the prior month.

According to Thomson Reuters data, the blended estimate for the fourth quarter, which reflects reported results and analyst expectations, is for year-over-year growth of 2.7% for the S&P 500, up from 0.1% in the third quarter. Seventeen percent of S&P 500 companies have reported so far.

Gold for February delivery fell $6.50 to settle at $1,686.70 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while March crude oil futures slipped $1.45 cents at $95.23 a barrel.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was up 4/32, diluting the yield to 1.832%. The dollar was ticking up by 0.06%, according to the U.S. dollar index.

Google, the search giant, posted fourth-quarter earnings growth of 12%.

Coach ( COH) shares plunged 16% after the U.S. luxury handbag maker reported disappointing earnings and revenue after lackluster holiday season sales.

US Airways ( LCC) shares gained 1.5% after the airline booked better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings.

Cree ( CREE) shares surged 22% after the LED-products maker announced stronger-than-anticipated quarterly results and provided a positive outlook.

Research In Motion ( RIMM) shares were off 3.1% as a Citigroup analyst said that the recent excitement over the company's BlackBerry 10 launch was overly optimistic and advised investors not to buy into the rally. The analyst reiterated a "sell" rating and $6 price target on the stock.

-- Written by Andrea Tse and Joe Deaux in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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