Stocks edge higher on hopes for IMF cash boost

NEW YORK (AP) ? Wall Street opened higher Wednesday following reports that the International Monetary Fund could get more cash to help countries struggling to manage their debt.

The Dow Jones industrial average is up 43 points at 12,483 after the first half-hour of trading. That’s an increase of 0.4 percent. Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are the Dow’s leading stocks. BofA rose 2.6 percent, JPMorgan 2 percent.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. jumped 3.5 percent after the investment bank reported earnings that trumped analysts’ expectations. Profit still sank 58 percent in the last three months of 2011, a result of sinking interest rates and volatile financial markets.

Other financial stocks were sharply lower. State Street Corp. dropped 6.5 percent.

Christine Lagarde, the IMF’s managing director, said Tuesday that the fund was looking at ways to increase the amount it can lend to countries, partly to deal with Europe’s debt crisis.

The S&P 500 index is up 5 points to 1,298. The Nasdaq is up 16 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,744.

Yahoo Inc. rose 2.5 percent on news that co-founder Jerry Yang is leaving the struggling Internet company. The departure clears the way for newly hired CEO Scott Thompson to take more radical action to shake up the company.

The Federal Reserve said manufacturing rose 0.9 percent in December, the biggest increase since December 2010. Output surged as companies bought more machines and materials.

Among other stocks making large moves Wednesday:

? Amphenol Corp. soared 10 percent, the largest gain in the S&P 500. The manufacturer of fiber optic cables reported earnings that beat analysts’ expectations.

? Linear Technology Corp. jumped 8.3 percent. The Milpitas, Calif.-based circuit maker said it expects revenue to rise between 4 and 8 percent in its third quarter following strong order increases in December and January. It also raised its dividend by a penny to 25 cents per share.