December 19, 2014
Earnings, healthcare help lift Wall Street
US stocks rose today as a host of solid earnings reports, along with strength in the healthcare sector, helped lift the S&P 500 and Nasdaq to their sixth straight advance.
Netflix Inc surged 7 percent to $372.90 a day after reporting strong subscriber growth, a sign the trading favorite still had room to grow despite recent valuation concerns. With the day's gain, the stock moved to the plus side for the year after a 21 percent drop in March.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 65.12 points or 0.40 percent, to end at 16,514.37. The S&P 500 gained 7.66 points or 0.41 percent, to 1,879.55. The Nasdaq Composite added 39.912 points or 0.97 percent, to 4,161.458.
European shares also rose, boosted by mergers and acquisitions activity in the pharmaceuticals sector and by bullish euro zone consumer confidence data.
The STOXX Europe 600 health care index rose 2.9 percent as AstraZeneca rallied on speculation about a bid approach from U.S. major Pfizer, while a deal to swap assets boosted GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis .
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares closed 1.3 percent higher at 1,346.57 points, having extended gains in the afternoon after European Commission data showed euro zone consumer confidence rose more than expected in April.
The index has gained 3.4 percent since mid-April and is now just 0.5 percent off a near six-year high hit early this month.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index added 1.4 percent to 3,199.69 points.
Meanwhile, Tokyo shares dropped today, unable to maintain earlier gains, on caution over upcoming
Japanese corporate earnings reports and tensions in Ukraine. The Nikkei average closed down 0.9 percent at 14,388.77, after rising as much as 0.6 percent earlier.
The broader Topix fell 0.8 percent to 1,162.50, though trading volume was the second lowest so far this year.
The new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 shed 0.7 percent to 10,579.99.