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Friday, March 20, 2015

Wall St rises on Nike, lower dollar; set to snap three-week skid

US stocks rose today, pushing the Nasdaq to a 15-year high and helping the S&P 500 snap a three-week string of losses, following a pullback in the dollar, upbeat results from Nike and further biotech gains.

Recent sharp gains in the US dollar have increased worries about the currency's impact on the earnings of US multinationals. S&P 500 earnings projections for the first quarter and for 2015 have fallen sharply since January 1.

Among early reporters, Nike jumped 3.7 percent to $101.98 as the biggest boost to the Dow after it posted a quarterly profit that beat market estimates.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 168.62 points, or 0.94 percent, to 18,127.65, and the S&P 500 gained 18.83 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,108.10. The Nasdaq Composite added 34.04 points, or 0.68 percent, to 5,026.42, a 15-year high.

European equities closed higher. The FTSEurofirst 300 index posted its highest close since mid-2007, finishing up 0.8 percent at 1,610.93.

Greek equities rose 2.9 percent after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras assured European Union creditors his coalition would soon present economic reforms to unlock cash to stave off bankruptcy.

In addition, the recent weakness of the euro was seen as boosting the region's economy and corporate earnings.

Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei share average hit a fresh 15-year high in choppy trade and gained for a sixth week on expectations for better shareholder returns, but Nintendo Co dived on profit-taking after soaring for two days.

The Nikkei benchmark ended 0.4 percent higher to 19,560.22, the highest closing level since April 2000, after trading in negative territory earlier. For the week, the benchmark rose 1.6 percent, posting six straight weekly gains.

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Tags:  US  stock market  Europe  Nikkei  





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