Energy, Transport Stocks Lift Wall Street, IBM Drags

The S&P 500 eked out a small gain while the Dow declined after a volatile trading session on Wednesday, with weakness in sectors such as consumer staples and financials offsetting strong gains in the energy and industrial indexes. Higher oil prices boosted energy stocks while transport stocks such as CSX Corp helped the industrial sector. But IBM's (IBM.N) 7.5 percent drop was the biggest drag on the S&P after the technology company's quarterly profit margins missed Wall Street targets.

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U.S. Economic Growth on Track despite Tariff Concerns: Fed Report

"Robust" business borrowing, rising consumer spending, and tight labour markets indicate the U.S. economy remains on track for continued growth, the Federal Reserve reported on Wednesday, with the risks of a global trade war the one big outlier. In its periodic "Beige Book" summary of contacts with businesses in its 12 regional districts, the Fed said the overall outlook among businesses "remained positive," but that many were worried about the Trump administration's use of tariffs.

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Time Warner CEO Says AT&T Merger Needed To Compete With Internet Titans

Time Warner (TWX.N) Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes on Wednesday defended his company's planned merger with telecoms firm AT&T (T.N) as necessary to compete effectively for advertising with internet giants like Google and Facebook. Bewkes told Judge Richard Leon, who will decide if the $84.5 billion deal may go forward, that the U.S. Justice Department was wrong to say that AT&T would be reluctant to license Time Warner's TV and movie content to rivals, causing blackouts, in order to win over new customers to AT&T subsidiary DirecTV.

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Wall Street Rises on Earnings Hopes, Netflix Soars

U.S. stock indexes rallied on Tuesday on broad-based gains while Netflix and UnitedHealth earnings impressed investors and boosted optimism about the U.S. corporate reporting season. Shares in Netflix (NFLX.O), the first of Wall Street's leading momentum stocks to report earnings, rose 9 percent to close at a record high after the video-streaming pioneer smashed analysts' quarterly subscriber estimates.

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IBM Full-Year Profit Forecast Misses Estimates, Shares Fall

International Business Machines Corp's (IBM.N) full-year profit forecast fell short of Wall Street targets on Tuesday, sending the technology company's shares down as much as 6 percent. IBM said it continues to expect adjusted earnings per share of at least $13.80, while analysts were expecting $13.83. "We delivered exactly what we said 90 days ago. The $13.80 is an 'at least' and it's up 1 to 2 percent year over year," IBM's CFO James Kavanaugh told Reuters in an interview.

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Arming the World: Inside Trump's 'Buy American' Drive To Expand Weapons Exports

In a telephone call with the emir of Kuwait in January, U.S. President Donald Trump pressed the Gulf monarch to move forward on a $10 billion fighter jet deal that had been stalled for more than a year. Trump was acting on behalf of Boeing Co (BA.N), America's second-largest defence contractor, which had become frustrated that a long-delayed sale critical to its military aircraft division was going nowhere, several people familiar with the matter said.

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U.S. Bans American Companies from Selling To Chinese Phone Maker ZTE

The U.S. Department of Commerce has banned American companies from selling components to Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp for seven years after breaking an agreement reached after it was caught illegally shipping goods to Iran, U.S. officials said on Monday. The U.S. action, first reported by Reuters could be devastating to ZTE since American companies are estimated to provide 25 percent to 30 percent of the components used in ZTE's equipment, which includes smartphones and gear to build telecommunications networks.

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Netflix Programming Binge Pays Off With Subscriber Surge

Netflix Inc's blitz of original programs attracted a surprisingly high 7.4 million new customers from January to March, reassuring investors who are betting the video-streaming pioneer's massive spending will fuel growth around the world. New shows like "Altered Carbon" and "O Mecanismo" helped Netflix smash analysts' subscriber estimates, and its better-than-expected second-quarter outlook soothed concerns about competition from Apple Inc and Inc.

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Meeting Eyed For NAFTA Ministers on Thursday in Washington

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on Monday that he was discussing a possible Thursday meeting in Washington with his NAFTA counterparts, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

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Martin Sorrell Quits As Head of World's Biggest Ad Group WPP

(Reuters) - Martin Sorrell, who built WPP into the world's biggest advertising agency through 33 years of dealmaking, quit on Saturday after an allegation of personal misconduct.

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