Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wall Street Climbs As Oil Rallies, Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) Gains

US stocks finished higher on Wednesday as a rally in technology shares buoyed investor sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 80.60 points, or 0.65%, to finish at 12,560.18. The S&P 500 climbed 11.70 points, or 0.88%, to close at 1,340.68. The Nasdaq Composite increased 31.79 points, or 1.14%, to 2,815.

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) reported Tuesday that its first-quarter profit surged to $945 million, or 49 cents a share, from $341 million, or 17 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 55 cents a share in the latest quarter. Revenue grew by 1% to $15 billion from $14.87 billion. Analysts, on average, expected the company to report earnings of 43 cents per share on revenue of $15.40 billion. 

Shares of Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) rose 33 cents, or 1.40%, to close at $23.88.

Oil prices rallied $3.19, or 3.3%, to $100.10 a barrel, after the Energy Department's weekly oil inventory report showed U.S. crude supplies remained unchanged last week. Analysts had expected a 550,000-barrel build.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve's April meeting minutes showed mild divisions among the Fed's key central bankers on when to begin raising interest rates and whether inflation is a real threat. 

European stocks closed up. The UK FTSE rose 62.49 points, or 1.07% to 5,923.49. The German DAX and French CAC increased 0.65% and 0.92% respectively.

Asian stocks finished higher. The Nikkei 225 climbed 95.06 points, or 0.99%, to 9,662.08. The Hang Seng index of Hong Kong increased 110.06 points, or 0.48%, to 23,011.14.

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