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Stocks Gain on Earnings

By on March 26, 2011

U.S. stocks rose, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index extending its weekly rally, as forecasts at Oracle Corp. and Accenture Plc beat estimates. Portuguese bonds fell after S&P downgraded the country’s debt, while the Australian dollar touched a record as commodities rallied.

The S&P 500 <> climbed 0.5 percent to 1,316.02. in New York. Technology shares in the MSCI All Country World Index advanced 0.5 percent as a group for the top gain among 10 industries. Portugal’s 10-year bond yield jumped to a euro-era record.
Australia<>’s dollar climbed as much as 0.8 percent to $1.0294. The Swiss franc fell versus all 16 most-traded peers and the euro weakened versus 13. According to Bloomberg report, Ten-year Treasury yields climbed 3 basis points to 3.44 percent.

The S&P 500 has rebounded almost 5 percent from its 2011 low last week as concern eased that the global economy would be hurt by Japan<>’s worst earthquake on record and uprisings in the Middle East and northern Africa <>. The benchmark measure of U.S. stock options headed for its biggest seven-day drop on record as demand for protection against further declines subsided.

“Despite the global macro uncertainties, company fundamentals are leading investors to bid the market higher,” said Eric Teal, chief investment officer at First Citizens Bancshares Inc. in Raleigh, North Carolina<>

which manages $5.2 billion. Oracle’s forecast “is a good signal for the technology sector, and so we think there will be ongoing strength in earnings for those companies.”

The S&P 500 advanced for the third day and extended its weekly gain to almost 3 percent. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, also known as the VIX, has tumbled 41 percent since March 16.

Stock also gained Friday after the Commerce Department said the economy grew 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter. The revised increase in gross domestic product compares with a 2.8 percent estimate issued last month, the figures showed.

Stocks maintained gains after the Thomson Reuters/ University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment decreased to 67.5 from 77.5 in February. The preliminary estimate issued earlier this month was 68.2. The median forecast of 67 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a reading of 68.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.8 percent and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index climbed 0.8 percent. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.1 percent and is up 3.1 percent since March 18, extending its biggest weekly rally in six months.

Source : Thisday