U.S. stocks rose to send benchmark indexes to their best gains this year, as claims for unemployment benefits fell and earnings from Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) to Akamai Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: AKAM)¬†topped estimates. The Standard & Poor‚??s 500 Index (SPX) climbed 1.2 percent to 1,773.43, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 188.30 points, or 1.2 percent, to 15,628.53. Both measures notched their biggest gains since Dec. 18. About 6.9 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, roughly 9 percent above the three-month average. Disney gained 5.3 percent after posting a quarterly profit that beat estimates. Akamai, which helps speed Internet-data delivery for customers such as Apple Inc., soared 21 percent after beating forecasts for quarterly earnings. >Coca-Cola Co.¬†(KO)¬† advanced 1.1 percent after agreeing to buy 10 percent of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. for about $1.25 billion. Green Mountain surged 26 percent. Twitter Inc. plunged 24 percent after reporting a wider-than-projected loss and slowing user growth.
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