Stocks rise on Wall Street aided by company earnings

Associated Press

Strong company earnings boosted stocks on Wall Street on Friday. Investors also saw a chance to add to their holdings after declines earlier in the week.

Nike reported a surge in quarterly profit, sending its stock price to a record. Tiffany topped earnings predictions, boosted by demand from customers in Asia.

Investors also were drawn by a pause in the market’s big run-up. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index logged its second weekly decline of the year, despite Friday’s gains.

The damper on U.S. stock markets was caused by another worrisome chapter in Europe’s debt crisis and some disappointing corporate news.

The Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus, a banking haven, is struggling to devise a plan to avoid financial collapse. Stocks also were weighed down Thursday by weak sales from Oracle. That news brought down technology stocks.

FedEx ended the week 10 percent lower after it reported a drop in quarterly profit and cut its annual earnings forecast Wednesday. The company is a gauge of the economy because so many shoppers and businesses use its shipping services.

On Friday, investors took advantage of the market’s down week and ramped up their stock buying.

A resilient global economy has encouraged investors to pick up stocks on any dips, said Ron Florance, managing director of investment strategy at Wells Fargo Private Bank.

“We still have an astonishing amount of money sitting on the sidelines,” said Florance.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 90.54 points, or 0.6 percent, to 14,512.03 Friday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 11.09 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,556.89. The Nasdaq composite gained 22.40 points, or 0.7 percent, to 3,245.

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