Friday, April 1, 2011

Wall Street Ends Higher On Positive Data, Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) Slumps

US stocks finished higher on Friday as better-than-expected economic data boosted investor confidence.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 56.99 points, or 0.46%, to finish at 12,376.72. The S&P 500 climbed 6.58 points, or 0.50%, to close at 1,332.41. The Nasdaq Composite added 8.53 points, or 0.31%, to 2,789.60.

A release by Department of Labor on Friday showed that U.S. employers added 216,000 net jobs in March. Economists expected non-farm payrolls to rise 192,000 for the month. Unemployment rate dropped to 8.8% in March from 8.9% in the previous month. Economists expected jobless rate to rise to 9%.

The Institute for Supply Management said that its manufacturing index dropped to 61.2 in March, compared with the 61.4 reading that economists had expected.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department reported that construction spending fell by 1.4% in February, worse than the decline of 0.7% economists were looking for.

Shares of Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) slumped 46 cents, or 2.28%, to $19.72.

European stocks closed up. The UK FTSE rose 101.16 points, or 1.71% to 6,009.92. The German DAX and French CAC increased 1.97% and 1.64% respectively.

Asian stocks finished mixed. The Nikkei 225 fell 46.71 points or 0.48% to 9,708.39. The Hang Seng index of Hong Kong jumped 274.38 points or 1.17% to 23,801.90.

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