GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares gain on corporate results, M&A talk; euro gains

Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:25pm EDT

* Netflix results lift Wall St, deal talk buoys Europe

* Threats of ECB action keeps euro subdued

* Oil prices fall on rising supplies

* U.S. bond prices slip before two-year supply (Adds oil settlement)

By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK, April 22 (Reuters) - Global equity markets rose on Tuesday, powered by solid U.S. corporate earnings and deal-making activity among European drugmakers, while the euro edged above break-even.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were on track for a sixth straight session of gains, led by technology shares. In Europe, an index of top European shares finished up 1.3 percent, the biggest daily advance since early March.

Netflix Inc, the video streaming company, surged 5.9 percent to $369.10 a day after it reported quarterly results that showed strong subscriber growth, a sign the company's shares could continue to rise despite valuation concerns.

One-fifth of the companies in the S&P index have reported first-quarter earnings so far, of which 63 percent beat analysts expectations. The rate is in line with a 20-year average but down from the 66 percent average of the past four quarters.

"The season has been better than many have feared, which is helping investors feel comfortable with the pace of economic growth, not just in the first quarter but going forward," said Joseph Tanious, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management in New York.

Shares of social media companies gained after Credit Suisse upgraded its recommendation on Facebook Inc to "outperform." Facebook rose 3.1 percent to $63.12.

The Global X Social Media Index ETF rose 0.9 percent, with Twitter Inc up 0.87 percent and Yelp Inc up 2.4 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 99.25 points or 0.6 percent, to 16,548.5. The S&P 500 gained 11.57 points, or 0.62 percent, to 1,883.46 and the Nasdaq Composite added 46.407 points, or 1.13 percent, to 4,167.953.

MSCI's all-country stock index rose 0.6 percent, while the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares closed up 1.34 percent at 1,346.57 points.

AstraZeneca jumped 4.7 percent in London after the Sunday Times newspaper reported Pfizer approached its British rival with a 60 billion pound ($101 billion) takeover offer. Pfizer rose 1.2 percent to $31.23.

GlaxoSmithKline rose 5.2 percent after it agreed to sell its oncology products to Novartis for $14.5 billion, while buying the Swiss firm's vaccines, excluding flu. Novartis' shares were up 2.3 percent.

Investors trimmed their positions of U.S. dollars after a two-week run higher, unmoved by data on U.S. existing home sales for March that beat expectations but showed a modest decline from the prior month.

The euro gave up some of its modest gains, but remained slightly positive against the greenback and yen.

The euro slipped to a two-week low of $1.3783 at one point, before trading 0.09 percent higher at 1.3803.

ECB executive board member Benoit Coeure said on Tuesday that there was further margin to reduce the main interest rate below 0.25 percent and that the strength of the euro could be keeping inflation too low.

But until the ECB takes action, traders said the euro was unlikely to weaken much, thus keeping it tied to a range.

The dollar was flat against the yen at 102.61.

U.S. crude futures fell ahead of Energy Information Administration data expected to show that U.S. inventories have risen close to record-highs. Brent also fell but was cushioned by continued concerns over the stand-off in Eastern Ukraine.

Brent crude settled down 68 cents at $109.27 a barrel, after reaching a six-week high of $110.36 last week. U.S. crude slipped $2.24 to settle at $102.13 a barrel.

U.S. Treasuries prices fell, with benchmark yields at their highest level in two weeks, in advance of an auction of $32 billion in two-year notes, the first part of this week's $96 billion in coupon-bearing supply.

Benchmark 10-year Treasuries notes last traded 1/32 lower in price to yield 2.7242 percent,

(Reporting by Herbert Lash; Additional reporting by Marius Zaharia in London; Editing by Leslie Adler and Chizu Nomiyama)

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