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Overnight Markets: Wall Street closes higher for fifth straight session

Overnight Markets: Wall Street closes higher for fifth straight session

Wall Street surged on Thursday, with the Dow Jones closing above the 25,000 mark for the first time in nearly two weeks, led by Apple and other technology stocks as investors played down recent inflation worries that sent the market into negative territory at the start of the month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 307 points, or 1.23%, to 25,200, the S&P 500 gained 33 points, or 1.21%, to 2,731 and the Nasdaq Composite added 113 points, or 1.58%, to 7,256.

Stocks opened solidly higher but subsequently lost ground before recouping losses after an economic data indicated inflation pressures were building but the economy is in no imminent danger of overheating.

Apple Inc jumped 3.36% and contributed more than any other stock to gains on the S&P 500 after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway made the iPhone maker its top investment.

Cisco surged 4.73% following upbeat results and a strong forecast. The company also showed revenue growth for the first time in more than a year and a half.

Shares in TripAdvisor Inc. climbed 4.1% after the online travel company posted better-than-expected earnings late Wednesday.

Shares in McDonald’s Inc. advanced 0.5% after the fast-food heavyweight announced a fresh worldwide push to make its Happy Meal offerings healthier.

Shares in Avon Products Inc. jumped 13% after the beauty-products seller posted adjusted quarterly earnings that beat forecasts, but revenue that missed expectations.

Antares Pharma Inc. rallied 19% while Amag Pharmaceuticals Inc. surged 29% after Amag said the US Food and Drug Administration has approved their Makena subcutaneous auto injector drug-device combination product.

Energy was the only major S&P 500 sector index to fall, pulled down 0.42% by weaker oil prices.

In Asia, shares gained on Friday in morning session following Wall Street, but trading in the region was subdued with many markets shut for the Lunar New Year holiday.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei rallied 1.26% as the yen weakened. Australian shares climbed 0.17%, led by gains in financials.

Markets in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam are closed today.

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