US STOCKS-Wall St jumps on Greece aid and US economy bets

* Visa results beat, raises outlook

* Baidu hits all-time high on results, outlook

* Jobless claims drop in latest week

* Dow up 1.2 pct, S&P up 1.3 pct, Nasdaq up 1.4 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Updates to early afternoon)

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, April 29 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) shot higher on
Thursday after Greece neared a bailout deal, while jobless
claims and earnings supported the expectation of a sustainable
U.S. economic recovery.

Greece’s borrowing costs eased after Athens readied for
severe austerity measures to secure a bailout. Germany’s
finance minister said there is no alternative but to provide
financial aid to Greece, lifting financial markets. For
details see [ID:nLDE63S0BL].

Visa Inc (V.N: ), the world’s top credit and debit card
network, reported higher-than-expected profits and raised its
revenue outlook, spurring hopes of a revival in consumer
spending. Visa shares slipped 0.4 percent to $93.26 after
hitting an all-time high at $97.14 on Monday.

Shares of cellphone maker Motorola Inc (MOT.N: ) gained 2.8
percent to $7.11 on the New York Stock Exchange and the
U.S.-listed stock of China’s Internet search giant Baidu Inc
(BIDU.O: ) hit an all-time high of $718 on the Nasdaq after both
posted upbeat results. [ID:nN29206408] and [ID:nSGE63S0K9].

“Momentum in earnings and economic data overall has been
positive,” said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential
Financial in Newark, New Jersey.

“With relief on the sovereign debt issue in Europe … the
market has been given the opportunity to focus on earnings.”

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) added 134.14
points, or 1.21 percent, to 11,179.41 The Standard & Poor’s
500 Index (.SPX: ) rose 15.85 points, or 1.33 percent, to
1,207.21. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) gained 34.75
points, or 1.41 percent, to 2,506.48.

The S&P 500’s percentage gain marked its largest daily
advance in nearly eight weeks.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell slightly
less than expected in the latest week, the government said,
suggesting an improving labor market. The data came a day
after the Federal Reserve said it was upbeat about the
economy. [ID:nN27125552]

Boosting the Nasdaq, Palm Inc (PALM.O: ) surged 25.1 percent
to $5.79 after Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N: ) agreed to buy the
smartphone maker for $1.2 billion. HP slipped 0.9 percent to
$52.81.

Aetna Inc (AET.N: ) reported better-than-expected quarterly
profit and raised its forecast. The health insurer’s stock
rose 3.2 percent to $31.47. [ID:nN29202664]

Higher oil prices during the quarter boosted profits for
Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N: ) and ConocoPhillips (COP.N: ), but Exxon
saw its earnings hurt by recently enacted U.S health reform
legislation. [ID:nN29246334].

Exxon’s stock slid 0.6 percent to $68.80, but shares of
ConocoPhillips gained 1.5 percent to $59.42.

U.S. fund managers increased their already heavy
investment in equities in April and decreased bond allocations
on signs the economic recovery is sustainable, a Reuters poll
showed. [ID:nN28210567] and [US/ASSET].

Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by
a ratio of about 3 to 1, while on the Nasdaq, more than two
stocks rose for every one that fell.

Stock Today

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Jan Paschal)

US STOCKS-Wall St jumps on Greece aid and US economy bets