Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wall Street Gains On Earnings Optimism, Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) Soars

Closing Bell

US stocks rose on Thursday on rising expectations the forthcoming U.S. corporate earnings season would show strong performance.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 84.54 points, or 0.70%, to finish at 12,170.56. The S&P 500 added 12.12 points, or 0.93%, to close at 1,309.66. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 38.12 points, or 1.41%, to 2,736.42.

A release by Commerce Department on Thursday showed that order for durable goods fell 0.9% in February. Economists had expected the durable orders to rise 1.5% last month.

A release by Department of Labor on Thursday showed number of Americans filing first- time claims for unemployment benefits fell 5,000 to 382,000 in the week ending March 19. Economists expected jobless claims to drop to 380,000. The four-week average of seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims, a less volatile gauge, decreased 1,500 to 385,250. Continuing claims for the week ending March 12 dropped 2,000 to 3.72 million.

Shares of Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) jumped $1.42, or 7.97% to $19.23 after the company unveiled a new dual-core graphics card. The company said that its GeForce GTX 59, which is powered by a pair of its Fermi-class GPUS, is the fastest dual graphics card on the market.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) rallied $2.91, or 7.46%, to $41.94 after the Wall Street Journal reported that Sands China Ltd., a unit of U.S. casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp., is in talks with InterContinental Hotels Group Plc about management contracts for two hotels in a Sands development project in Macau’s Cotai area.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) surged 73 cents, or 5.10%, to $15.04.

Shares of Inc (NYSE: CRM) soared $7.13, or 5.84%, to $129.25.

European stocks finished down. The UK FTSE rose 84.99 points, or 1.47% to 5,880.87. The German DAX and French CAC increased 1.90% and 1.41% respectively.

Asian stocks finished little changed. The Nikkei 225 slipped 14.46 points or 0.83% to 9,435.01. The Hang Seng index of Hong Kong added 89.88 points or 0.39% to 22,915.28.

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