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Stocks Rise as GDP Expands 2.9%; General Electric to Partner With Baker Hughes

U.S. stocks inched higher on better-than-expected GDP numbers and earnings reports.

U.S. Stocks inched higher at the open Friday on the news of better-than-expected economic data and mixed earnings reports. U.S. third quarter GDP expanded to 2.9%, the largest gain in two and a half years. The better-than-expected number was helped by an increase in exports and a buildup in inventories.  Consumer spending also rose a moderate 2.1%. Exxon Mobil (XOM) - Get Exxon Mobil Corporation Report  shares are in focus after the oil giant posted third quarter earnings of $0.63 a share, topping estimates by $0.05 a share. But revenue dropped 13 percent to $58.7 billion, below forecasts. Oil price declines dragged on its results. Shares of MasterCard (MA) - Get Mastercard Incorporated Class A Report are gaining ground.  The credit card giant posted earnings of $1.08 a share, beating analysts estimates by a dime. Revenue saw a 14% jump to $2.9 billion. One standout in the report was the company's processed transactions that jumped 18% to 14.5 billion. Hershey's (HSY) - Get Hershey Company Report shares are also higher. The chocolate company posted better-than-expected earnings of $1.29 a share.  It also beat by a dime.  Revenue of $2 billion was slightly better than estimates.  General Electric (GE) - Get General Electric Company Report  and oil services provider Baker Hughes (BHI) are said to be in discussion for potential partnerships as both companies struggle with the slowing energy market. Shares of both companies rose following the news. TheStreet's Valerie Young reports from Wall Street.

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