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Stocks go higher on earnings, House debt vote

Buoyed by strong earnings results in the technology sector and progress in the Washington fiscal budget debate, US stocks closed higher Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 67.12 points (0.49 percent) to 13,779.33, its highest level since October 2007.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 2.25 (0.15 percent) to 1,494.81.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 10.49 (0.33 percent) to 3,153.67.

Charles Schwab & Co. said the market received "a boost from stronger-than-expected bottom-line results" from IBM and United Technologies Corp.

The market was also strengthened by the move by the House of Representatives to suspend the debt ceiling for three months, removing a major uncertainty overhanging markets, at least for the medium term.

Technology companies had a good day following the release of strong earnings results from IBM and Google.

Dow member IBM reported profits that bested expectations and gave a surprisingly good outlook for 2013 based on cloud computing and other initiatives. IBM shares rose 4.4 percent.

Google surged 5.5 percent after reporting strong profits, gains in the US digital advertising market and a strong performance on mobile technology.

The robust results at Google and IBM boosted other technology companies, including Apple and Netflix, both of which were set to release earnings after the market's close. Apple rose 1.8 percent while Netflix jumped 5.6 percent.

Dow member McDonald's finished 0.6 percent higher after a mixed earnings report. The fast-food company beat analyst expectations on earnings, but offered a cautious outlook on 2013 profits.

United Technologies, another Dow member, jumped 0.7 percent after it said business surged in the final quarter of the year. The company narrowly bested expectations on quarterly earnings from continuing operations.

MAP Pharmaceuticals surged 58.9 percent on news that it would be purchased by Allergan in a cash deal priced at a 60 percent premium to Tuesday's close.

Luxury retailer Coach slid 14.4 percent after reporting earnings that fell short of expectations. The company's chief executive said North American retail sales during the critical holiday season proved disappointing.

Cisco dropped 1.2 percent on news that it would acquire Israeli-based software developer Intucell Ltd. for $475 million.

Among the sectors that underperformed Wednesday were energy and banking.

Bond prices were mixed. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury dropped to 1.83 percent from 1.84 percent late Tuesday. The 30-year yield rose to 3.03 percent from 3.02 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.