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US stocks rise

New York - US stocks Thursday opened higher following improved economic data in China and Europe and another round of generally good corporate earnings reports, especially from thriving Facebook.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 4.72 points (0.03 percent) to 17,091.35, while the S&P 500 gained 2.69 (0.14 percent) to 1,989.70.

The US bourse is set to open higher as European leaders get ready to meet. Credit: REUTERS

The S&P 500 closed at a record Wednesday.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 11.25 (0.25 percent) to 4,484.95.

Banking giant HSBC said its preliminary purchasing managers index (PMI) of manufacturing activity in China rose to 52.0 in July from 50.7 in June, hitting an 18-month high and boosting hopes for stronger growth in the world's number-two economy.

A survey by research firm Markit of eurozone business conditions said the PMI for the 18-nation bloc rose to 54.0 in July from 52.8

in June.

Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare said the majority of the latest batch of earnings has been “better than expected.”

Facebook was a standout, rising 6.2 percent after second-quarter profits more than doubled to $791 million behind growth in ads on mobile devices. - Sapa-AFP

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