US stocks score big gains as Fed rate hike odds fall

GMT 06:44 2015 Friday ,16 October

Arab Today, arab today US stocks score big gains as Fed rate hike odds fall

Dow Jones Industrial Average rose
New York - AFP

Wall Street stocks finished solidly higher Thursday, following global equity markets upward on rising confidence the US Federal Reserve will delay hiking interest rates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 217.00 points (1.28 percent) to 17,141.75.

The broad-based S&P 500 jumped 29.62 (1.49 percent) to 2,023.86, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 87.25 (1.82 percent) to 4,870.10.

Analysts see a much lower chance of the Fed lifting rates following a stream of mediocre US economic reports, including data Thursday showing consumer prices fell in September.

"Investors are reacting to the increasing likelihood that the Fed rate hike, which had been expected just a month ago in September, now likely won't happen during the course of this year," said David Levy, portfolio manager at Kenjol Capital Management.

Financials were in favor. Citigroup jumped 4.4 percent after besting analyst expectations on a 51 percent rise in third-quarter earnings to $4.3 billion.

Goldman Sachs missed earnings expectations slightly, but rose 3.0 percent after the company's chief financial officer gave a confident outlook on merger and acquisition activity.

Other large banks also gained, including Bank of America (+3.5 percent), JPMorgan Chase (+3.2 percent) and Wells Fargo (+2.3 percent).

Pharma stocks were another strong category, with Dow member Pfizer climbing 3.2 percent, Biogen 4.5 percent and Celgene 3.4 percent.

But Valeant Pharmaceuticals International plunged 4.8 percent on news it had been subpoenaed by US prosecutors for information about its drug pricing decisions.

US-listed Chinese stocks gained after the Shanghai index powered higher. Online giant Alibaba advanced 4.8 percent, while Internet search company Baidu rose 3.6 percent.

Netflix sank 8.3 percent after reporting disappointing new US subscriber numbers and slightly lower profits than expected in the third quarter.

Other big tech stocks advanced, including Apple (+1.5 percent), Amazon (+3.2 percent) and Facebook (+2.0 percent).

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.02 percent from 1.98 percent Wednesday, while the 30-year advanced to 2.86 percent from 2.84 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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