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Broad Rally Helps Stocks End Week Up   02/23 16:00

   Wall Street capped several days of choppy trading Friday with a broad rally 
that gave the stock market a modest gain for the week.

   (AP) -- Wall Street capped several days of choppy trading Friday with a 
broad rally that gave the stock market a modest gain for the week.

   Technology companies, banks and health care stocks accounted for much of the 
market's gains. Energy companies also rose along with crude oil prices.

   The rally came as bond yields pulled back for the second day in a row after 
reaching four-year highs earlier in the week. That spike on Wednesday, which 
sent the 10-year Treasury yield closing in on 3 percent, sent stocks sharply 
lower.

   "There was a lot of concern about what happened if bond yields got above 3 
percent, and that probably added to some of the jitters earlier this week," 
said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird. "Now you have a day when 
yields are moving away from that. At least for now, that probably lets equity 
traders breathe a sigh of relief and pushes stocks up a little."

   The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 43.34 points, or 1.6 percent, to 
2,747.30. The Dow Jones industrial average picked up 347.51 points, or 1.4 
percent, to 25,309.99. The Nasdaq composite gained 127.30 points, or 1.8 
percent, to 7,337.39. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 
19.20 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,549.19.

   The S&P 500, a key barometer for the stock market, had been on course to 
finish the week lower after losses on Tuesday snapped a six-day winning streak. 
All told, the S&P 500 eked out a 0.6 percent gain for the week. The Dow and 
Nasdaq finished with gains of 0.4 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.

   Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.87 
percent from 2.92 percent. The yield declined for the second day in a row after 
climbing as high as 2.95 percent on Wednesday, the highest level since January 
2014. That spike came after the Federal Reserve's minutes from its January 
policy meeting showed bullish sentiment among policymakers, confirming their 
intention to raise interest rates this year.

   Earlier this month, global stock markets, particularly those in the U.S., 
suffered big losses amid mounting concerns over the pace of inflation and Fed 
policy tightening.

   "We're at the mercy of people's changing opinions day-to-day on inflation 
and the Fed, but over the long run, we would expect the market to emerge 
higher," said Craig Callahan, president of ICON Advisers.

   Hewlett Packard Enterprise led the gainers among technology stocks Friday. 

   The data center hardware company surged 10.5 percent after it reported a 
strong fiscal first quarter and raised its estimates for the rest of the year. 
It also said it would increase its quarterly dividend. The stock climbed $1.73 
to $18.14.

   Its former corporate sibling, printer and PC maker HP, also rose. The stock 
gained 74 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $22.13 after HP's first-quarter earnings 
and revenue surpassed analyst expectations. Its forecasts for the rest of the 
year were also better than excepted.

   Banks and other financials companies also posted solid gains. Capital One 
Financial was among the big gainers, adding $2.37, or 2.5 percent, to $99.04.

   Vertex Pharmaceuticals led the health care sector's winners. The stock 
climbed $8.31, or 5.3 percent, to $165.90.

   Blue Buffalo Pet Products soared after packaged goods company General Mills 
agreed to buy it for $40 a share, or $8 billion. Blue Buffalo jumped $5.88, or 
17.2 percent, to $40. General Mills lost $1.97, or 3.6 percent, to $52.98.

   Benchmark U.S. crude picked up 78 cents, or 1.2 percent, to settle at $63.55 
a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 92 
cents, or 1.4 percent, to close at $67.31 a barrel in London.

   The pickup in oil prices helped lift energy sector stocks. Newfield 
Exploration led the pack, climbing $1.20, or 5.1 percent, to $24.66.

   In other energy futures trading, heating oil gained 2 cents to $1.97 a 
gallon. Wholesale gasoline added 4 cents to $1.81 a gallon. Natural gas was 
little changed at $2.63 per 1,000 cubic feet.

   The dollar rose to 106.75 yen from 106.64 yen. The euro dipped to $1.2295 
from $1.2329.

   Gold fell $2.40 to $1,330.30 an ounce. Silver dropped 10 cents to $16.48 an 
ounce. Copper slid 3 cents to $3.21 a pound.

   Major stock indexes in Europe closed mostly higher Friday. Germany's DAX 
index rose 0.2 percent, while France's CAC 40 gained 0.2 percent. London's FTSE 
100 slid 0.1 percent. In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 gained 0.7 percent, Hong 
Kong's Hang Seng added 1 percent and Seoul's Kospi rose 1.5 percent.


(BE)

 
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