S&P 500, Nasdaq close at record highs on upbeat earnings

GMT 04:26 2015 Saturday ,25 April

Arab Today, arab today S&P 500, Nasdaq close at record highs on upbeat earnings

Nasdaq Composite Index
New York - XINHUA

U.S. stocks ended higher on Friday, with both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite Index refreshing their record closing highs, as major earnings reports came out generally positive.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 21.45 points, or 0. 12 percent, to 18,080.14. The S&P 500 gained 4.76 points, or 0.23 percent, to 2,117.69. The Nasdaq added 36.02 points, or 0.71 percent, to 5,092.08.

The Nasdaq continued to outperform other major indices on Friday, after setting a new closing record for the first time in 15 years on Thursday, fueled by surges from tech companies such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

Amazon shares skyrocketed 14.13 percent to 445.10 U.S. dollars per share Friday after its first-quarter revenue came in above estimates. The e-commerce giant's net sales increased 15 percent to 22.72 billion U.S. dollars in the first quarter, compared with 19.74 billion dollars a year ago. Analysts thought that major investments in logistics and prime video position the company for long-term growth.

After Thursday's closing bell, Microsoft announced that its revenues for the first quarter grew to 21.7 billion dollars, topping Wall Street estimates. The software giant's diluted earnings per share for the quarter were 61 cents per share. Its shares spiked 10.45 percent to 47.87 dollars apiece Friday.

Google shares jumped 2.91 percent to 573.66 dollars apiece Friday after reporting better-than-expected results for the first quarter. The company's first quarter revenue was 17.3 billion dollars, up 12 percent year on year.

On the economic front, new orders for manufactured durable goods in March increased 4.0 percent to 240.2 billion dollars, according to U.S Commerce Department Friday.

"Cheap oil and a strong dollar, while beneficial to consumers, are putting serious pressure on manufacturers. There is little indication that energy prices will return to their previous level and the dollar shows no signs of weakening. In other words, it's going to be a rough year for domestic manufacturing," said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, in a note.

Traders paid attention to Greece talks as well. Greece is willing to make compromises to reach a deal on its debt, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Friday after tense talks with his eurozone peers on the issue.

On a weekly basis, the three major indices posted big gains with the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq up 1.4 percent, 1.8 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively.

The CBOE Volatility Index, often referred to as Wall Street's fear gauge, decreased 1.52 percent to end at 12.29 on Friday.

In other markets, oil prices lost on profit taking after the sharp rise the previous day.

Light, sweet crude for June delivery moved down 59 cents to settle at 57.15 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The U.S. dollar declined against most major currencies as economic data from the country came out negative.

In late New York trading, the euro increased to 1.0867 dollars from 1.0825 dollars in the previous session, while the dollar bought 118.87 Japanese yen, lower than 119.49 yen of the previous session.

Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell as global equities hit all-time highs.

The most active gold contract for June delivery fell 19.3 dollars, or 1.62 percent, to settle at 1,175.00 dollars per ounce.

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بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
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