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S&P 500 rallies on Amazon result

Online retailer Amazon climbed 15.7 per cent to $226.85 and contributed half of Nasdaq's gain on Friday.

Written by Agencies | New York | Published: April 28, 2012 10:30:16 am

US stocks advanced on Friday and posted their best weekly gains in a month as stronger-than-expected earnings from Amazon.com and Expedia Inc reinforced confidence in corporate performance.

Wall Street managed a fourth day of gains as the strong earnings season outweighed a surprisingly weak reading on first-quarter economic growth.

Online retailer Amazon climbed 15.7 per cent to $226.85 and contributed half of Nasdaq’s gain for the day. An S&P retail index .RLX rose 3.5 per cent and hit an all-time high. Shares of Expedia,the Web-based travel provider,surged 23.5 per cent to close at $40.31,after hitting a new high at $43 on record volume.

Growth in S&P 500 earnings rose to 7.2 per cent this week from 3.2 per cent at the start of the month,according to Thomson Reuters data. About 73 per cent of the companies that have reported so far have beaten expectations.

“So far the numbers have been pretty good,and we’re happy about that,but I think we have to wait to where we’re done with the earnings season to really make judgments,” said David James,senior vice president of James Investment Research in Alpha,Ohio.

“Going forward,the big key for people especially looking at tech is what happens with the dollar. I think the dollar will probably be stronger than people expect on a relative basis. Historically that usually means tech is the sector that gets hit the hardest.”

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 23.69 points,or 0.18 per cent,at 13,228.31. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 3.38 points,or 0.24 per cent,at 1,403.36. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 18.59 points,or 0.61 per cent,at 3,069.20.

The S&P 500 posted its best weekly per centage gain since March and the Nasdaq its best gain since February.

Earlier this week,a blowout quarter from Apple Inc (AAPL.O) gave the Nasdaq its best day of the year

With one more trading day left in the month,the S&P 500 is slightly lower so far in April but still up 11.6 per cent for the year. The S&P is well above its 50-day moving average.

The earnings news overshadowed the day’s economic news. The Commerce Department reported the US economy expanded at a 2.2 per cent annual rate in the first quarter,below economists’ expectations for growth of 2.5 per cent.

Among other companies reporting results,Ford Motor Co (F.N) surpassed expectations as its North American unit reported the best profit in at least 12 years. But the stock fell 2.3 per cent to $11.60 after executives said Ford lost US market share in April,suggesting that second-quarter .

Also on the downside,Procter & Gamble Co (PG.N) shares fell 3.6 per cent to $64.44 after the world’s biggest consumer products maker cut its full-year profit view and posted lower quarterly earnings.

Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) fell 5.3 per cent to $57.43 and was one of the biggest per centage decliners on the Nasdaq 100 .NDX after the coffee chain operator reported results late on Thursday. Investors focused on weakness in European sales,even though its quarterly profit topped estimates.

Volume was 6.2 billion shares on the New York Stock Exchange,the Nasdaq and the NYSE Amex,below the daily average this year of 6.76 billion.

Advancers outpaced decliners by a ratio of about 2 to 1 on the NYSE as well as on the Nasdaq.

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