December 21, 2014
Wall Street ends up on earnings, rebound in high-growth shares
US stocks rose, boosted by upbeat results from companies including Merck & Co and a rebound in Facebook and other high-growth shares.
Merck & Co 's shares climbed 3.6 percent to $58.72, giving the S&P 500 its biggest lift, after it reported stronger-than-expected earnings.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 86.63 points or 0.53 percent, to 16,535.37, the S&P 500 gained 8.9 points or 0.48 percent, to 1,878.33 and the Nasdaq Composite added 29.142 points or 0.72 percent, to 4,103.543.
Shares of Facebook, up 3.6 percent at $58.15, led the way higher on the Nasdaq, a day after selling off along with a host of other momentum names.
Shares of Twitter jumped 4.6 percent to $42.62 ahead of its results after the bell, when it reported 255 million monthly active users, up from the previous quarter but not enough to satisfy investors. The stock was last down 8.6 percent.
On the down side, Coach Inc reported a sharp drop in North American sales and the stock slumped 9.3 percent to $45.71.
About 6.3 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges, below the 6.6 billion average this month, according to data from BATS Global Markets.
The Fed's two-day policy meeting began today, with the central bank expected to again scale back its monthly bond purchase program. Investors will also be eager to get any guidance on when it might raise interest rates.
European shares closed up, led by technology stocks as results from chipmaker Infineon and telecommunication gear maker Nokia brightened the outlook for the sector.
The two were among the top risers on the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index after they reported forecast-beating quarterly earnings boosted respectively by demand from automotive and industrial customers and by software deals.
The STOXX Europe 600 Tech index was up 1.4 percent, a top sectoral riser.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, was 1.2 percent higher at 1,352.42 points. The euro zone Euro STOXX 50 was up 1.4 percent at 3,208.68 points.