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Stocks rise on Wall Street aided by earnings

Source : AP
Last Updated: Fri, Mar 22, 2013 22:30 hrs

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Nike reported a surge in profit, sending its stock price to a record. Tiffany topped earnings predictions, boosted by demand from customers in Asia.

A strong run-up in stocks this year is encouraging investors to buy whenever the market dips, says Ron Florance, managing director of investment strategy at Wells Fargo Private Bank.

"We still have an astonishing amount of money sitting on the sidelines," says Florance.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 90.54 points, or 0.6 percent, to 14,512.03 Friday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 11.09 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,556.89. The Nasdaq composite gained 22.40 points, or 0.7 percent, to 3,245.

Nike's stock hit an all-time high, rising 11 percent to $59.53 after the company reported a spike in quarterly profit. Tiffany's stock rose nearly 2 percent to $69.23 after it reported strong earnings.

Despite Friday's gains, the S&P 500 was down for the week, falling seven points, or 0.3 percent. The index was weighed down by another debt crisis in Europe and disappointing corporate news.

The Dow had its worst week in more than a month, shedding a fraction of a percentage point.

The markets got hit on several fronts.

The Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus, a banking haven, struggled to devise a plan to avoid financial collapse.

Oracle reported weak sales. FedEx, a bellwether for the economy, posted a drop in quarterly profit and cut its annual earnings forecast.

As a result, the S&P 500 logged only its second weekly decline of the year. The first came the week of Feb. 22, when investors were spooked by the minutes from a Federal Reserve policy meeting. The minutes revealed disagreement over how long to keep buying bonds in an effort to boost the economy.

A pause in the stock market run-up is due, says Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. Gains this year overstate the improvement in the economy, he says.

The biggest risk to the market run-up will come when the Fed faces increasing pressure to end its stimulus program. That could happened if the economy continues to improve and stock markets rise, says Sandven.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.93 percent from 1.92 percent.

Among other stocks making big moves Friday;

— Micron Technology rose 97 cents, or 10.7 percent, to $10.05 despite reporting a loss in its fiscal second-quarter later Thursday. The chipmaker said that revenue grew 3 percent, to $2.08 billion, better than analysts had expected.

— Anacor Pharmaceuticals Inc. climbed $1.24, or 25.6 percent, to $6.08 Friday, after the drug developer reported strong data from a mid-stage study of a potential chronic rash treatment.

— Marin Software, a marketing software company, rose $2.26, or 16.1 percent, to $16.26 on its market debut. The San Francisco-based company raised $105 million in its initial public offering.

— AK Steel Holding fell 16 cents, or 4.6 percent, to $3.31, after projecting a larger-than-expected first-quarter loss because a previously expected seasonal increase in demand for steel hasn't materialized.




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