NEW YORK, April 22 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks rallied Tuesday, with the S&P 500 marking a six-session winning streak, boosted by generally upbeat corporate earnings, robust merger and acquisition (M&A) activities.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 65.12 points, or 0.40 percent, to 16,514.37. The S&P 500 added 7.66 points, or 0.41 percent, to 1,879.55. The Nasdaq Composite Index soared 39.91 points, or 0.97 percent, to 4,161.46.
The market opened modestly higher, after momentum stock Netflix beat market expectations on its earnings while matching analysts' forecast in its first-quarter revenues late Monday. The online film service's shares soared 7.00 percent to 372.90 U.S. dollars Tuesday.
Also boosting market confidence, two Dow components Travelers Companies, Inc. and United Technologies Corporation released better-than-expected first-quarter results before the opening bell.
Shares of Travelers inched up 0.57 percent to 86.89 dollars, while shares of United Technologies were up 0.75 percent to 119.19 dollars.
However, McDonald's Corporation reported first-quarter net income of 1.20 billion dollars, or 1.21 dollars per diluted share, lower than those in the year-ago period and missing analysts' expectations. Shares of the fast food chain lost 0.35 percent to 99.32 dollars apiece after toggling in and out of negative territory.
Wall Street also gained steam from vigorous M&A activities, which signaled that investors are growing more optimistic with corporate profitability. The market rise accelerated before giving up part of earlier advances in the final hour of the session.
Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman and Valeant Pharmaceuticals are reportedly teaming up to take over Botox maker Allergan. Responding to the news, shares of the two drug makers climbed 7.46 percent to 135.41 dollars and 15.25 percent to 163.65 dollars, respectively.
On the economic front, U.S. house prices rose in February, with an increase of 0.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency's monthly House Price Index, beating market expectations.
U.S. existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, slipped 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59 million in March, the slowest since July 2012, according to the National Association of Realtors. But the number still surpassed market consensus.
On the previous trading day, the broader S&P 500 logged its first five-day winning streak since October, as investors looked to a batch of earnings from key companies during the week.
In other markets, the dollar traded mixed against major currencies Tuesday amid U.S. housing data.
In late New York trading, the euro rose to 1.3802 dollars from 1.3796 dollars in the previous session, while the dollar stayed at 102.63 Japanese yen after corrections.
Oil prices dropped as market expected that a government report Wednesday to show that U.S. crude inventories gained last week.
Light, sweet crude for May delivery moved down 2.24 dollars to settle at 102.13 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for June delivery lost 68 cents to close at 109.27 dollars a barrel.
Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange closed at the lowest level since April 1.
The most active gold contract for June delivery fell 7.4 dollars, or 0.57 percent, to settle at 1,281.1 dollars per ounce.