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Luxury retailers technology companies push stocks higher

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NEW YORK — Stocks rose in early trading on Wall Street Tuesday following strong earnings reports from a range of U.S. companies, led by luxury retailers and technology companies.Ralph Lauren and Estee Lauder surged after reporting earnings that came in well ahead of what analysts were expecting.Apple and Microsoft lifted the technology sector. Agricultural giant Archer-Daniels Midland fell on lower sales.The encouraging earnings reports are driving the market higher, even as economic concerns continue to hang over the market.While corporate profits are still coming in ahead of forecasts, investors are starting to expect a slower pace of growth moving forward.KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 8 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 2,732 as of 10:04 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 125 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 25,363. The Nasdaq composite rose 40 points, or 0.55 per cent to 7,388.LOOKING GOOD: Upscale clothing company Ralph Lauren surged on growth in Asia and Europe. The company’s most recent fiscal results beat Wall Streets’ forecasts. More importantly, it raised its forecast despite some fears about an economic slowdown hitting Europe and Asia. The stock rose 11.4 per cent to $127.53.Estee Lauder, which also reported better results and expects growth in Asia, rose 12 per cent to $152.60.ENERGY: U.S. crude oil fell 0.3 per cent to $54.36 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, 0.3 per cent to $62.31 per barrel in London.OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX rose 1.4 per cent. The British FTSE 100 rose 0.2 per cent. France’s CAC 40 rose 1.4 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell0.2 per cent. In Asia, most markets were closed for the lunar new year.Damian J. Troise, The Associated Press read more