US stocks opened strongly on Friday bolstered by results from apparel multinational Nike and a lift by Biotech as the NASDAQ composite nearing its record close.
The S&P 500 Index jumped 12 points or 0.6% in recent trading to 2101 points while the Dow Jones Industrial Average, boosted by Nike, rose 130 points or 170 points or 0.7% to 18089.
The Nasdaq Composite, spurred by a weaker dollar after the Federal Reserve’s dovish statement on Wednesday, climbed 33 points or 0.7% to 5025 closing in to its record close of 5048.22 15 years ago.
A more cautious that expected statement by the Federal Reserve has spurred a resurgence in stocks after more than 3 consecutive weeks of weakness.
“The underlying message from the March Federal Open Market Committee meeting is simply that the Fed has started the countdown to the first rate hike this year,” Millan Mulraine, US strategist at TD Securities, told the Financial Times.
“That said, with the domestic inflation picture likely to be unclear until around midyear, particularly given the potential for energy prices to take another lurch lower, we believe that the risks could be tilted in favour of the Fed moving later rather than sooner.”
Nike Inc., a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average shot 3.7% to $101.95 on the back of posting forecast-beating quarterly earnings for the last quarter.
The multinational announced that it had sold more high margin apparel and sportswear in the quarter but predicted that the robust dollar would hurt its earnings this quarter.
“There is a tug-of-war going on between current valuations in our market and a lot of bad news being priced into a strong dollar, with no good news being priced into a strong dollar,” Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York, told Reuters.
“We are taking the multinationals out to the woodshed and not moving consumer names higher.”
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