Wall Street stocks received a boost from hikes in Nike and Intel shares
New York - AFP
Nike's announcement to hike its dividend and grant other shareholder benefits helped lift US stocks Friday as Wall Street looked to conclude a strong week on a high note.
Dow-member Nike shot up 4.9 percent as it increased its dividend 14 percent, unveiled a new $12 billion share repurchase plan and approved a two-for-one stock split.
About 35 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 17,880.80, up 148.05 points (0.83 percent). The Dow is up about 3.5 percent on the week.
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 13.12 (0.63 percent) to 2,094.36, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 26.75 (0.53 percent) to 5,100.39.
Drugmakers Allergan and Pfizer advanced despite new US Treasury rules designed to discourage cross-border mergers aimed at cutting tax costs like the one being discussed between the two companies. Allergan rose 2.7 percent and Pfizer 0.4 percent.
Dow member Intel rose 1.6 percent as it lifted its dividend by 8.3 percent.
Teen-oriented fashion chain Abercrombie & Fitch surged 17.8 percent after reporting earnings that translated into 48 cents per share, well above the 22 cents expected by analysts. The results were a standout in a stream of mostly lackluster earnings reports from apparel and department stores.
Gap jumped 5.3 percent despite reporting a 29.3 percent drop in third-quarter earnings to $248 million and projecting full-year earnings of $2.38-$2.42 per share, below the $2.50 per share expected by analysts. Gap shares were down more than 40 percent in 2015 heading into Friday's session.
Clothing discounter Ross Stores jumped 9.7 percent following its report that third-quarter earnings rose 11.9 percent to $215.7 million.