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Markets Right Now: Stocks move higher at midday

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OIL: U.S. crude oil futures added 10 cents to $52.51 per barrel in NY.

METALS TRADING: The price of gold, which has climbed steadily in recent weeks, fell $10.70 to $1,283.40 an ounce.

The Nasdaq composite rose 13.56 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,863.03 as health care companies climbed. Six of the index's 10 main groups finished in the red.

USA indexes are mostly higher in midday trading, led by gains in retailers and health care stocks.

OTHER LEADERS: GE helped lead industrial companies higher as it gained 8 cents to $29.92.

Small said the news supported the notion that BlackBerry's turnaround plan was working. The stock gained 2% in the past three months and 12% in the past year, while the Dow 30 gained 4% in three and 14% in the past year.

The Canadian dollar slipped 0.55 cents at 74.17 cents U.S. Elsewhere, Charles Schwab rose 55 cents, or 1.5percent, to $38.46 and Prudential climbed $1.31, or 1.3 percent, to $104.88.

Rogers Communications Inc rose 1.5 per cent to $62.36 after the country's largest wireless company by market share reported a sharp rise in first-quarter profit and higher revenue after markets closed on Tuesday.

US stocks closed mostly lower on Wednesday with the Dow finishing at its lowest in two months as International Business Machines Corp.

The Dow closed about 120 points lower with IBM accounting for 57 of those points, while Goldman Sachs added 10 points to the downside. "There are a few companies that people look at to read the tea leaves of the market, but IBM isn't one of them anymore".

Fellow blue-chip companies ExxonMobil and Chevron dropped a respective 0.7 per cent and 1.4 per cent as a USA petroleum inventory report showing higher gasoline supplies pressured oil prices.

In the oil market, the counter-seasonal build of 1.5 million barrels in gasoline in the latest week, along with an increase in US production, pressured prices.

"Certainly oil has been weakening for a couple of days and that has been putting some pressure on things", said Jankovskis. Of the 45 S&P 500 companies that have released results, almost 76 per cent have topped earnings estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Semiconductor company Lam Research surged 6.9 per cent after reporting better-than-expected quarterly earnings and surprising the market with a bullish forecast for the current quarter.

At 11:01 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was down 23.46 points, or 0.11 percent, at 20,499.82, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 6.27 points, or 0.27 percent, at 2,348.46 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 35.50 points, or 0.61 percent, at 5,884.97.

With Wall Street near record levels and worries over President Donald Trump's ability to carry out his pro-growth promises, investors are hoping first-quarter earnings will justify pricey market valuations.

This marked the twentieth consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue declines for IBM. Shares moved up 2.8%, but the stock remains well below the 50-day line.

Meanwhile, the United States economy grew at a pace "equally split between modest and moderate" between mid-February and the end of March, the Federal Reserve said in its Beige Book report.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,792 to 760.

The Nasdaq composite increased 39 points, or 0.7 percent, to 5,889.

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