U.S. stocks end moderately higher

11:02, April 14, 2011      

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U.S. stocks ended moderately higher on Wednesday after a choppy trading day, with the Dow and the S&P 500 closing flat and the Nasdaq rising 0.61 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 7.41 points, or 0.06 percent, to 12,270.99. The Standard & Poor's 500 added 0.25 points, or 0.02 percent, to 1,314.41. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 16.73 points, or 0.61 percent, to 2,761.52.

The markets got lifted by the better-than-expected earnings result from JPMorgan Chase, the second largest bank on Wall Street by asset.

JPMorgan said its net income for first quarter climbed 67 percent as provisions for bad mortgages and credit-card loans fell, lifting investors' confidence on the upcoming earning reports by other banks.

However, JPMorgan's shares dipped throughout the day as investors focused on the contraction of retail banking. And the financial sector also slipped, with large market players such as Wells Fargo dropping 2.29 percent, Citigroup losing 1.1 percent.

Bank of America, the largest U.S. bank by asset, which is scheduled to release earnings on Friday, also slipped near 1.5 percent. Technology and utilities sectors rose, which led the tech dominated Nasdaq much higher. And among techs, shares of Google rose 0.99 percent.

This search-engine giant is about to report earnings after-the-bell Thursday. Riverbed Technology jumped after the tech firm raised its quarterly outlook. Zoom Technologies shares soared 31.45 percent after the company signed a license agreement with Qualcomm, allowing the Chinese mobile phone maker to develop and sell 3G products using Qualcomm's chip patents.

Before closing, President Barack Obama delivered his plan for reducing the budget deficit by 4 trillion dollars over 12 years, which was regarded good for the economy and added energy for stocks rising.

In U.S. economic news, the Federal Reserve's Beige Book indicated that the economy continued to improve at a moderate pace across most sectors during the period from mid-February through March. The sales at U.S. retailers rose 0.4 percent in March, posting the ninth consecutive monthly increase, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday.

On the other markets, Oil prices rose as U.S. gasoline inventories tumbled 7 million barrels to their lowest level since last October. Gold advanced near to 1,456 dollars an ounce, while the dollar rose against a basket of major currencies.

Source: Xinhua
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