Stocks rise on Wall Street aided by earnings

By Steve Rothwell

Associated Press

Published: Friday, March 22 2013 9:35 p.m. MDT

Protesting employees of Laiki bank chant slogans outside the Cypriot parliament, Friday, March 22, 2013. Cypriot authorities were putting the final touches Friday to a plan they hope will convince international lenders to provide the money the country urgently needs to avoid bankruptcy within days. ?The next few hours will determine the future of this country,? said government spokesman Christos Stylianides.(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Associated Press

Strong company earnings boosted stocks on Wall Street Friday. Investors also saw a chance to add to their holdings after declines earlier in the week.

Nike reported a surge in profit, sending its stock price to a record. Tiffany topped earnings predictions, boosted by demand from customers in Asia.

A strong run-up in stocks this year is encouraging investors to buy whenever the market dips, says Ron Florance, managing director of investment strategy at Wells Fargo Private Bank.

"We still have an astonishing amount of money sitting on the sidelines," says Florance.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 90.54 points, or 0.6 percent, to 14,512.03 Friday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 11.09 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,556.89. The Nasdaq composite gained 22.40 points, or 0.7 percent, to 3,245.

Nike's stock hit an all-time high, rising 11 percent to $59.53 after the company reported a spike in quarterly profit. Tiffany's stock rose nearly 2 percent to $69.23 after it reported strong earnings.

Despite Friday's gains, the S&P 500 was down for the week, falling seven points, or 0.3 percent. The index was weighed down by another debt crisis in Europe and disappointing corporate news.

The Dow had its worst week in more than a month, shedding a fraction of a percentage point.

The markets got hit on several fronts.

The Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus, a banking haven, struggled to devise a plan to avoid financial collapse.

Oracle reported weak sales. FedEx, a bellwether for the economy, posted a drop in quarterly profit and cut its annual earnings forecast.

As a result, the S&P 500 logged only its second weekly decline of the year. The first came the week of Feb. 22, when investors were spooked by the minutes from a Federal Reserve policy meeting.

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