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Strong earnings from GE, others lift stock prices

NEW YORK — Stocks are heading higher after General Electric and other companies reported strong quarterly profits.

General Electric Co. posted earnings Friday that beat expectations. Bank of America Corp., the country’s largest bank, reported a loss related to bad mortgages.

The Dow Jones industrial average is up 53 points, or 0.4 percent, to 11,876 in midday trading.

The S&P 500 index is up 5 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,286. The Nasdaq composite is up 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,706.

General Electric gained 5.8 percent, leading the 30 stocks that make up the Dow. The conglomerate’s earnings rose 52 percent on growth in equipment orders and lending.

Bank of America lost 1.3 percent after reporting a $1.6 billion loss in the fourth quarter.