Investing.com - U.S. stocks opened higher in thin trade on Tuesday, after the release of upbeat earnings reports, while disappointing U.S. housing sector data on Monday dampened expectations for a near-term end to the Federal Reserve's stimulus program.
During early U.S. trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.30%, the S&P 500 index added 0.17%, while the Nasdaq Composite index edged up 0.10%.
Global equities gained ground after data showing that U.S. existing home sales fell unexpectedly in June dampened expectations that the Fed will start scaling back its asset purchase program this year.
The National Association of Realtors said that existing home sales fell 1.2% to an annual rate of 5.08 million units in June, but still remained close to three-and-a-half year highs.
CapitalSource skyrocketed 21.46%, as PacWest said it agreed to buy the lender in a deal that will create California's eighth-biggest commercial bank.
CapitalSource investors will reportedly get about USD11.64 a share in PacWest stock and cash, according to a joint statement.
Among earnings, DuPont added 0.16% after the chemical company edged past earnings expectations by a penny and said it is exploring selling its performance chemicals unit.
United Technologies also gained ground, up 2.06%, after the company beat profit estimates and lifted the lower end of its yearly forecast. The multinational conglomerate also said it is well positioned for a return to organic growth in the second half of the year.
In the same sector, Texas Instruments soared 3.63% after the chipmaker posted better-than-expected quarterly results and handed in current-quarter guidance that exceeded expectations.
On the downside, Travelers tumbled 1.37% even as the insurance company reported quarterly results that topped forecasts.
Elsewhere, Netflix plummeted 3.71% after saying it added 630,000 new U.S. customers for its Internet TV service in the second quarter, fewer than the average analyst projection of 700,000.
Other stocks expected to be in focus included Apple, scheduled to post second quarter results later in the day.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were higher. The EURO STOXX 50 climbed 0.45%, France's CAC 40 added 0.17%, Germany's DAX edged up 0.21%, while Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.24%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index surged 2.33%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index advanced 0.82%.
Trade remained subdued as volumes in foreign exchange markets were lower due to the summer holidays.
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