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December 18, 2014
Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Wall St rebounds; biotech shares snap losing streak

US stocks ended higher, rebounding from a two-day decline as the hard-hit biotechnology sector regained its momentum and a strong read on consumer confidence increased optimism about the economy.

Trading was choppy throughout the day with the Nasdaq at one point turning lower, led by a sharp reversal in biotech shares.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 91.19 points, or 0.56 percent, to close at 16,367.88.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 8.18 points, or 0.44 percent, to finish at 1,865.62.

The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 7.88 points, or 0.19 percent, to end at 4,234.27.

The Nasdaq biotechnology sector index rose as high as 2,564.58 and fell as low as 2,463.93. The index ended at 2,502.19, up just 0.1 percent.

Meanwhile, European shares rebounded anticipating of stimulus measures from the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Chinese central bank to help their economies fight off any slowdown.

Mining stocks were the best performers, rising on speculation that weak manufacturing data might prompt Beijing to prop up economic growth in the world's biggest metals consumer.

European stocks were also buoyed after ECB governing council member Jens Weidmann said the ECB was not ruling out buying loans and other assets from banks to support the euro zone, which is slowly recovering from a sovereign debt crisis.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which rose 16 percent in 2013 to post its best annual gain since 2009, closed up 1.3 percent to 1,310.83 points, bouncing back from a 1-percent decline in the previous session.

The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index rose 1.4 percent to 3,096.64 points while the STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources index - which includes top mining stocks - outperformed with a 2.6 percent climb.

The FTSEurofirst 300 also had its biggest one-day gain since a 2 percent rise on March 4.

The dollar moved higher against most major currencies as the euro and yen came under pressure, along with a number of emerging market currencies.

The euro was last at 1.3823 versus an early low of $1.3750.

US COMEX gold futures for April delivery settled up 20 cents at $1,311.40 an ounce.

Brent crude oil futures rose on renewed geopolitical risk over Russia and supply disruptions in Nigeria and Libya, while US crude was pressured by a stronger US dollar.

Brent crude rose 18 cents to settle at $106.99 a barrel.

US crude rose as much as 77 cents early in the session but reversed gains to settle down 41 cents at $99.19 a barrel on a stronger US dollar.

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Tags:  US  stock market  Europe  Nikkei  





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