US markets boosted by strong earnings

NYSE traders Image copyright Reuters

(Closed): Wall Street markets closed higher on Wednesday lifted by strong results from Microsoft and Morgan Stanley.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 36.02 points to 18595.03.

The broader S&P 500 climbed 9.24 points to 2173.02, while the Nasdaq jumped 53.56 points to 5089.93.

Microsoft shares soared 5.3%. The computer giant announced a $3.1bn profit for the quarter after markets closed on Tuesday.

Intel and IBM climbed 1.5% and 1.1% respectively, boosted by the positive sentiment over Microsoft.

US bank Morgan Stanley saw its share price climb 2% after beating earnings expectations for the second quarter.

The bank earned $1.43bn in profit compared with $1.69bn last year.

Morgan Stanley has adopted a new accounting method. It does not take into account the changing value of its debt, which helps boost the bank's returns.

Cereal maker Kellogg also fell after a rumour that it was in talks to merge with competitor Kraft Heinz were debunked. Kellogg's shares dropped 5.4%.