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Stocks rise...Small businesses a bit more optimistic...Dell moves up earnings report

Tuesday - 5/14/2013, 3:19pm  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are climbing again in afternoon trading on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average is poised to close higher for the 18th Tuesday in a row. The Dow has risen 15.5 percent this year and the S&P 500 index is up 15 percent.

NEW YORK (AP) -- A survey out today finds small business owners were slightly more optimistic during April but are generally still cautious. The National Federation of Independent Business says its Index of Small Business Optimism rose 2.6 points to 92.1 last month, erasing a drop of 1.3 during March.

ROUND ROCK, Texas (AP) -- Dell is going to report its latest quarterly earnings ahead of schedule. It says it will release its fiscal first-quarter earnings after the market close on Thursday instead of next Tuesday. The move is likely to spur speculation that the results will be dismal. The struggling personal computer maker is trying to sell itself to CEO Michael Dell and other investors, but two of its biggest shareholders have made an alternate proposal in an attempt to block that deal.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Microsoft says it won't charge extra for the Windows 8 update it's putting out later this year to address complaints about the operating system it released in October. It's also announced a name for the update: Windows 8.1. Windows 8 has confused a lot of users with changes designed to make it work with touch-screen controls as well as mouse and keyboard commands.

DETROIT (AP) -- U.S. auto safety regulators are investigating complaints that the engines in three Chrysler models can stall without warning. The probe covers more than 192,000 Chrysler 300C luxury cars, Dodge Charger muscle cars and Dodge Magnum wagons from the 2006 model year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also looking into complaints that doors won't close properly on certain Mazdas. That probe affects more than 39,000 Mazda 6 cars from the 2009 model year.

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