By BERNARD CONDON
AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks are rising broadly in midday trading Thursday after several big companies reported better-than-expected earnings. Citigroup, Intel, Netflix and eBay all beat analysts’ forecasts. The rise in U.S. stocks follows a rally in European markets on news that Greece’s parliament approved pension reforms and other measures demanded by its creditors.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average was up 31 points, or 0.2 percent, at 18,081 as of 12:05 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 14 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,121. The Nasdaq composite climbed 52 points, or 1 percent, to 5,152.
GREEK RELIEF: Eurozone creditors agreed to start discussions about a new bailout package for Greece after that country’s lawmakers approved a strict austerity bill that the creditors had demanded. Separately, the European Union agreed to provide a short-term loan to Greece and the European Central Bank decided to raise the amount of emergency liquidity available to the country’s banks.
NETFLIX SOARS: Netflix jumped 15 percent, the biggest gainer in the S&P 500, after announcing late Wednesday that it had attracted 3.3 million more subscribers to its service in the second quarter, far more than projected. Netflix said earnings fell 63 percent for the three-month period, but still beat expectations. Its stock rose $14.38 to $112.50.
EBAY RISES: EBay rose $2.23, or 3.5 percent, to $66.67 after announcing second-quarter earnings that topped Wall Street expectations. The company also said it had sold a business that helps develop online sites for retailers as it prepares to spin off PayPal.
OTHER EARNINGS: Investor sentiment was also helped by upbeat earnings from Citigroup and Philip Morris. Though investment bank Goldman Sachs saw its profit slump due to a rise in legal costs, its revenue figure was better than analysts had expected.
EUROPEAN RALLY: Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC-40 each rose 1.5 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.6 percent.
CHINA GAINS: The Shanghai Composite Index gained after two days of big drops, climbing 0.5 percent. In other Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.7 percent and South Korea’s Kospi added 0.7 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.4 percent.
CURRENCIES: The euro fell to its lowest level since the beginning of June, slipping to $1.0882 from $1.0954 in late trading Wednesday. The dollar was roughly flat at 124 yen.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell was unchanged at $51.43 a barrel in New York.
BOND: U.S government bond prices didn’t move much. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.35 percent.