Jan. 23 - Summary of business headlines: Apple disappoints as iPhone sales lag forecasts but Netflix sees surprise profit; Coach misses on revenues, but McDonald's delivers positive surprise; House approves borrowing extension; IMF picks U.S., E.U. and Japan as top global risks. Conway G. Gittens reports.
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Wall Street marches to the drum of upbeat earnings - with the S&P 500 in striking distance of the 1500 mark.
Blue chips are now up 9 out of the last 10 sessions, the S&P 500 rallies 2 points, while the Nasdaq adds 10.
The tech gain came ahead of some big earnings after the bell.
End-of-the-year revenues at Apple were downright unappealing, though earnings topped forecasts. Sales of its lucrative iPhone were way below expectations - somewhat confirming suspicions the mobile device is no longer as popular as it used to be.
Netflix, on the other hand, saw a surge in subscribers, resulting in a surprise profit.
It was a much different story for retailer Coach. The leather hand bag and high-end shopkeeper posted holiday-quarter sales that missed targets, blaming the fiscal cliff among other things. Investors, however, were not buying that excuse - the stock dropped more than 16 percent.
McDonald's was a surprise to the upside after key U.S. sales came in better-than-expected for the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile in Washington, The U.S. House of Representatives agreed to extend the country's ability to borrow until mid-May, temporarily easing concerns of a bitter debt ceiling stand-off.
But IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde is not yet ready to wipe the U.S. off her list of top global risks.
SOUNDBITE: CHRISTINE LAGARDE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"I would say, all advanced economies as a package, I would include Japan, the euro area and the United States, and the order I mentioned them is not specially relevant but there are threats on the horizon if those regions or countries do not keep up the momentum. But I think that they have it in their hands to actually transform 2013 into year of hope rather than the year of despair."
Finally, looking at the closing numbers in Europe - stocks traded mixed in a narrow trading range.
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