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Stocks: A Big Blue Bounce

News of IBM's big stock buyback and improved profit guidance lifted major indexes Tuesday, trumping a run of negative economic reports

Technology titan IBM (IBM) can do a lot of things, according to its ubiquitous TV commercials. Apparently, it can also divert investors’ attention from a stomach-curdling run of economic data with the promise of a big-bucks stock buyback plan, along with a few soothing words about its profit outlook.

That seemed to be the case Tuesday, as major stock indexes closed higher as news of Big Blue's $15 billion stock buyback plan generated buying interest in both IBM shares and the market as a whole.