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U.S. stocks rise on Bullard comments; Dow Jones up 0.28%

Published Feb 22, 2013 09:59AM ET
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Investing.com - U.S. stocks opened higher in subdued trade on Friday, despite Thursday's downbeat U.S. economic reports, as comments from St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard boosted sentiment.

During early U.S. trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.28%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.36%, while the Nasdaq Composite index added 0.31%.

Stocks found support after St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President Bullard said that the central bank's aggressive easy money policy will stay for a "long time."

On Thursday, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said on Thursday that its manufacturing index fell to minus 12.5 in February from January’s reading of minus 5.8, contracting at the fastest rate since July.

The data came after Markit said that its preliminary U.S. manufacturing PMI index fell to 55.2 in February from 55.8 the previous month, compared to expectations for a reading of 55.6.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending February 16 rose by 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 362,000, compared to expectations for an increase of 13,000 to 355,000.

In the tech sector, Hewlett-Packard surged 6.96% after the company's quarterly revenue and forecasts beat expectations.

Texas Instruments added to gains, rallying 3.23%, after it raised its quarterly dividend by a third and said it will buy back an additional USD5 billion in stock.

Among commodity-linked companies, Newmont Mining jumped 1.28% after the biggest U.S. gold producer said on Thursday that a more disciplined approach to spending and cost cuts is its top priority.

Gary Goldberg is set to takes over as CEO on March 1.

Elsewhere, insurer American International Group soared 3.86%, after reporting fourth-quarter results that beat market expectations.

Meanwhile, financial stocks were broadly higher. Shares in JP Morgan advanced 0.81% and Citigroup climbed 0.83%, while Bank of America and Goldman Sachs jumped 1.05% and 1.32% respectively.

Citigroup said on Thursday that it overhauled an executive pay plan that shareholders rejected last year as overly generous, revising it to link bonus payments more closely to stock performance and profitability.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were sharply higher. The EURO STOXX 50 rallied 1.35%, France’s CAC 40 surged 1.74%, Germany's DAX climbed 0.71%, while Britain's FTSE 100 advanced 0.56%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped 0.54%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index climbed 0.68%.

Trading volumes were expected to remain light on Friday, with no major economic data due to be published in the U.S.


U.S. stocks rise on Bullard comments; Dow Jones up 0.28%
 

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