dollar-sign-morguefileStocks are surging in early trading after another strong batch of earnings and some encouraging signs of growth in Europe.

Caterpillar, 3M, UPS and AT&T all topped earnings forecasts and raised their outlooks.

The scope of earnings releases throughout Thursday provides a good picture of the health of the global economy because they provide details about how much consumers are shipping, shopping and borrowing and manufacturers are producing.

(READ the AP story on Google News)

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