Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wall Street Ends Higher As Energy Stocks Rally, Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) Soars

Closing Bell

US stocks finished higher on Wednesday as a rally in mining and energy shares helped offset worries about unrest in the Middle East.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 67.39 points, or 0.56%, to finish at 12,86.02. The S&P 500 added 3.77 points, or 0.29%, to close at 1,297.54. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 14.43 points, or 0.54%, to 2,698.30.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that new home sales in the US fell 16.9 percent to 250,000 in February compared with previous month. Economists had expected the new home sales to rise slightly to 288,000 in February.

Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) announced Wednesday that it intends to sell a single-serve coffee brewer with manufacturer Courtesy Products to expand its reach in the fast growing one-cup java market. Starting in 2012, the brewer is expected to be sold at U.S. supermarket chains and warehouse club stores. Shares of Starbucks rallied $1.75, or 5.01%, to close at $36.69.

Shares of Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) jumped $1.10, or 4.17%, to close at to overweight from neutral.

European stocks finished higher.The UK FTSE rose 33.17 points, or 0.58% to 5,795.88. The German DAX and French CAC increased 0.35% and 0.54% respectively.

Asian stocks finished lower. The Nikkei 225 declined 158.85 points or 0.81% to 9,449.47.

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