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Stocks surge; Hewlett-Packard leads Dow higher
US stocks rise in midday trading as U.S trade deficit shrinks and Italy sells bonds
By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) ' Stocks are pushing higher for the second day in a row, helped by a trio of encouraging reports on the global economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 139 points to 12,944 shortly before noon Thursday. That's a gain of 1.1 percent.

Hewlett-Packard led the Dow higher after a study found that shipments of personal computers unexpectedly rose at the start of the year.

China, the world's second largest economy, also showed signs of strength. U.S. exports rose to an all-time high as U.S. businesses sold more goods to Europe and China.

Interest rates on Italian government bonds sank after Italy pulled off a successful sale of bonds.

The S&P 500 rose 14 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,382. The Nasdaq gained 36 points to 3,052, or 1.2 percent.

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