Strong earnings from big US companies pushed the Dow to a rare triple-digit gain. Hewlett-Packard rose after it posted fiscal first-quarter earnings that beat forecasts, a relief after months of bad news for the computer maker. Cabot Oil & Gas jumped on results that beat estimates. Friday’s rally followed a two-day plunge of 155 points after minutes from the Fed’s latest policy meeting revealed disagreement over how long to keep buying bonds in an effort to boost the economy. US stocks followed European stocks higher after a survey of German business optimism rose sharply, adding to evidence the country will avoid a recession.