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Stocks soar on strong company earnings

U.S. stocks rose Thursday as investors welcomed encouraging earnings from McDonald's, eBay and other companies. The market also got a lift from a rally in European stocks after the head of the European Central Bank said the bank will consider expanding its stimulus program in December.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 321 points, or 1.9 percent, to 17,489. The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 34 points, or 1.7 percent, to 2,053. The Nasdaq gained 80 points, or 1.7 percent, to 4,920.

eBay jumped 14 percent a day after the e-commerce company reported results that came in well ahead of what analysts were expecting. The stock rose $3.37 to $27.58.

McDonald's climbed 8.1 percent after the world's largest burger chain said its sales increased in the third quarter. McDonald's shares added $8.33 to $110.87.

Shares in American Express tumbled 5.2 percent a day after the credit card issuer reported a 16 percent drop in profits, missing analysts' estimates. American Express said it was hurt by higher expenses and the strong U.S. dollar. It also cut its full-year forecast. The stock slid $4.01 to $72.50.

The Shanghai Composite Index finished up 1.4 percent following a 3 percent slide Wednesday. Elsewhere in Asia stock markets closed mostly lower. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.6 percent and South Korea's Kospi dropped 1 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.6 percent.

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