Stocks rose Thursday as a positive earnings report from Dow Jones Industrial Average component American Express (AXP)  did most of the work for benchmark indexes. 

The Dow added 0.4%, the S&P 500 rose 0.33%, and the Nasdaq climbed 0.44%. 

American Express gained more than 4% following a first-quarter earnings beat. The credit card company reported earnings of $1.34 a share on revenue of $7.9 billion. Analysts anticipated $1.28 a share in earnings on sales of roughly $7.7 billion. Excluding its Costco-related revenue, adjusted sales came in 7% higher than a year earlier. 

Qualcomm  (QCOM) turned lower despite better-than-expected earnings and sales over its fiscal second quarter. Per-share earnings of $1.34 a share beat expectations of $1.19, while revenue of $5.99 billion came in higher than analysts' targets of $5.89 billion. Qualcomm's third-quarter profit guidance of 90 cents to $1.15 a share bracketed estimates of $1.09.

The chipmaker is currently embroiled in two different lawsuits over high patent fees, including a $1 billion claim against it by Apple (AAPL) . The company, which is one of Apple's suppliers, said it is not clear whether Apple's contract manufacturers will underpay royalties owed under their contracts this quarter. 

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Verizon (VZ) declined 1.8% after just falling shy of profit estimates over its first quarter and reporting a decline in revenue. Adjusted earnings of 95 cents a share came in a penny short of estimates. Revenue fell to $29.81 billion over the quarter, down from $32.17 a year earlier and below consensus of $30.41 billion. Wireless customers fell for the first time. The telecom committed to previous 2017 guidance. 

Travelers (TRV) reported a drop in quarterly profit as catastrophe losses rose over the first quarter. The insurance company earned net income of $2.17 a share over its recent quarter, down from $2.30 a share a year earlier and below estimates of $2.37 a share. CEO Alan Schnitzer said the company saw "unusually high first quarter catastrophe losses that arose from a record number of tornado and hail events."

Fellow insurer Allstate (ALL) said it anticipates first-quarter catastrophe losses to equal roughly $508 million. Allstate said severe hail in Texas in March accounted for a third of the total losses for the quarter. The company is set to report its first-quarter performance on May 2. 

Railway operator CSX ( CSX)  exceeded analysts' estimates on its top- and bottom-lines. Earnings of 51 cents a share topped consensus by 8 cents. Revenue climbed nearly 10% to $2.87 billion, $110 million above estimates. The company also hiked its quarterly dividend by 11% to 20 cents a share and authorized a new $1 billion share buyback program.

eBay (EBAY) fell 3% after earnings and sales came in largely in-line with estimates. The auction site earned 49 cents a share, just a penny higher than expected. Revenue rose 3.7% to $2.22 billion, meeting analysts' consensus. eBay said total global active buyers surged by 2 million over the first quarter to 169 million.

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