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Overnight Markets: Retail sales data lifts Dow Jones to another record
by Himanshu Singh on Mar 14, 2013 at 03:21
Wall Street gained on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average registering its longest rally since 1996 to hit another record, as data showed US retail sales increased in February by the most in five months.
The Dow Jones gained five points to 14,455, another record closing high. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index advanced two points, or 0.13%, to 1,555. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained three points, or 0.09%, to end at 3,245.
Equities rose after a report from the Commerce Department on Wednesday showed that retail sales increased 1.1% in February, the largest gain since September. The data reinforced the view that the US economy has momentum, even with the obstacles the recovery is facing.
Best Buy rallied 3.3%, pacing gains among retailers. Abercrombie & Fitch added 2.7% and Nike Inc. rose 2.5%.
International Business Machine and Boeing Co were the Dow's top two gainers. Both IBM and Boeing surged 0.7% each. Netflix Inc. jumped 5.6% after announcing new social features integrated with Facebook Inc. BlackBerry surged 8.2% after announcing its largest purchase order ever.
Coach shares gained 1.8% after Citigroup raised its rating on the luxury leather goods company's stock to "buy" from "neutral.
Walgreen jumped 4.2% after UBS raised its rating to a "buy" from "neutral", and lifted its price target to $48 from $41 on the stock of the largest US drugstore chain.
But Express Inc shares slid 3.2% after the apparel retailer posted fourth-quarter earnings and said it was off to a slow start in the first quarter.
Spectrum Pharmaceuticals shares lost 37.3% after the biotechnology company forecast full-year sales well below analysts' estimates.
In Asia, shares declined on Thursday in late morning trade, led by material producers and Chinese developers, on concern policy makers in the world’s No. 2 economy will step up efforts to cool the property market.
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