Wall Street Higher On Data, HP Earnings

Category: Markets / Finance / Feb 22, 2013 10:35AM EDT
U.S. stocks advanced on Friday (February 22), rebounding after two days of losses, led by gains in technology stocks after better-than-expected earnings from Hewlett-Packard. The benchmark S&P 500 has shed 1.9 percent over the past two sessions, its worst two-day drop since early November, putting the index on pace for its first weekly decline of the year. The retreat was triggered by minutes from the Federal Reserve's January meeting released earlier in the week which suggested stimulus measures may end earlier than thought. Still, the index is up nearly 6 percent for the year and managed to hold the 1,500 support level, despite the recent declines. Hewlett-Packard Co jumped 8 percent to $18.48 (USD) as the top boost on both the Dow and S&P 500 after the No. 1 PC maker's quarterly revenue and forecasts beat analysts' expectations as it continued to cut costs under CEO Meg Whitman's turnaround plan. The S&P technology sector was up 0.4 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 62.07 points, or 0.45 percent, at 13,942.69. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 7.85 points, or 0.52 percent, at 1,510.27. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 18.59 points, or 0.59 percent, at 3,150.08. The German Ifo business climate indicator for February surged to 107.4, its best one-month rise in more than two years, boosting optimism after Thursday's disappointing PMI data stoked concerns over the euro zone economy. Also buoying tech stocks were gains in semiconductor companies Marvell Technology Group Ltd, up 1.6 percent at $9.63, and Texas Instruments Inc, up 3.6 percent at $33.65. The PHLX semiconductor index gained 1.3 percent. Marvell forecast results this quarter that were largely above analysts' expectations as it gained market share in the hard-disk drive and flash-storage businesses. Insurer American International Group Inc posted fourth-quarter results that beat analysts' expectations. Shares advanced 4 percent to $38.78. (Video Source: Reuters)