US stocks post solid gains amid weaker dollar

GMT 13:53 2015 Saturday ,21 March

Arab Today, arab today US stocks post solid gains amid weaker dollar

US stocks
New York - XINHUA

U.S. stocks jumped Friday, with the Nasdaq Composite Index closing at a 15-year high, as investors were still embracing the dovish Federal Reserve statement amid the falling U.S. dollar.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 168.69 points, or 0.94 percent, to 18,127.72. The S&P 500 gained 18.79 points, or 0.90 percent, to 2,108.06. The Nasdaq rose 34.04 points, or 0.68 percent, to 5,026.42.
U.S. equities had witnessed big increases following the Fed's more dovish than expected statement on Wednesday, which indicated a rate hike would come gradually.
Analysts said the U.S. dollar was under pressure as the announcement signaled that the widely expected June rate hike was mostly off the table. Most investors believe that a soft dollar will be helpful to the U.S. economy.
The U.S. dollar slumped against other major currencies on Friday. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, was down 1.41 percent at 97.858 in late trading.
In late New York trading, the euro increased to 1.0811 dollars from 1.0638 dollars in the previous session, while the dollar bought 120.17 Japanese yen, lower than 120.96 yen of the previous session.
On the economic front, the year-ahead inflation expectations of businesses registered 1.7 percent in March, according to the latest business inflation expectations survey released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Friday.
In corporate news, Tiffany's shares tumbled 3.98 percent to 82. 93 dollars apiece Friday as the company's quarterly sales fell for the first time in five years due to a strong dollar. Its worldwide net sales for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31 were 1 percent below the prior year.
Shares of Nike, the world's largest sportswear maker, climbed 3. 72 percent to 101.98 dollars apiece after it posted a better-than- expected quarterly profit. The company's diluted earnings per share for the quarter were up 19 percent from a year ago to 0.89 dollars.
Latest data from Thomson Reuters showed that S&P 500 companies' per-share earnings in the fourth quarter of 2014 are expected to grow 6.7 percent year on year. A total of 497 companies in the S&P 500 have reported quarterly results to date.
In a weekly basis, the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq snapped their three-week losing streaks to wrap up the week with strong gains, up 2.1 percent, 2.7 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively.
The CBOE Volatility Index, often referred to as Wall Street's fear gauge, fell 7.46 percent to end at 13.02 Friday.
In other markets, oil prices rallied as the U.S. dollar depreciated against other currencies.
Light, sweet crude for April delivery gained 1.76 dollars to settle at 45.72 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for May delivery moved up 0.89 dollars to close at 55.32 dollars a barrel.
Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose, with the most active gold contract for April delivery up 15.60 dollars, or 1.33 percent, to settle at 1,184.60 dollars per ounce.

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