Stocks have made an upward turn in recent trade. The move has enabled the Dow and S&P 500 to reclaim gains while the Nasdaq tries to push back into positive territory.
However, airline shares have descended deeper into negative territory. That has left the Amex Airline Index to trade with a 1.1% loss for the session and a 6.5% loss for this week.
The euro rose against the dollar, reaching the strongest level in almost two months, as a report showed business confidence in Germany jumped last month, boosting optimism in the region’s economic recovery.
The common currency gained versus most of its major counterparts amid speculation that European policy makers will find a long-term solution to deal with the sovereign-debt crisis. Currencies of commodity-exporting countries gained as stocks and raw materials advanced. Canada’s dollar extended an advance against its U.S. counterpart after retail sales rose more than forecast in November.
“The euro is well supported because it had very strong economic data,” said Kathy Lien, director of currency research at online currency trader GFT Forex in New York. “It takes the focus off the sovereign-debt worries.”
Stocks have slipped a bit from their opening push higher. The major equity averages are still up nicely, though.
Industrial stocks are in the best shape. The sector is up 1.4% amid leadership from General Electric (GE 19.36, +0.93), which is flirting with multi-month highs following a better-than-expected earnings report.
Internet search giant Google (GOOG 635.00, +8.23) also posted a positive earnings surprise. Its shares have pulled back about six points from their opening gap up, though.
U.S. stocks were headed for a higher open Friday, as investors continue to mull shakeups in the tech world and the latest earnings from General Electric and Bank of America.
On Thursday, stocks closed modestly lower as technology shares remained weak, and worries about the downside of China's robust economy hung over the market.
Tech shares have gotten hammered this week with the Nasdaq down almost 2% since Monday. But overall, stocks have been on an upward trajectory this year -- with the Dow Jones industrial average now less than 200 points shy of 12,000.
There are no market moving economic reports on tap for Friday.
Companies: General Electric (GE) reported a fourth-quarter profit that topped Wall Street forecast, sending its stock up 3.4%.
The Fairfield, Conn.-based conglomerate said its fourth-quarter earnings rose 31% to $3.9 billion.
Bank of America reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $1.2 billion, or 16 cents per share. The latest results included a previously announced goodwill impairment charge of $2 billion. Shares of Bank of America (BAC) fell 2% in premarket trading.
After the market closed Thursday, Google (GOOG) reshuffled its management and reported quarterly earnings and sales that topped expectations.
In other corporate news, Warner Music (WMG) said it retained Goldman Sachs (GS) to find a buyer for all or part of the company, according to news reports. Shares of Warner Music rose 20% in premarket trading.
Oil for March delivery was flat, slipping 1 cent to $89.58 a barrel.
Gold futures for February delivery fell $4 to $1,345.70 an ounce.
The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury rose, pushing the yield down to 3.42% from 3.45% late Thursday.
The euro rose against the dollar, reaching the strongest level in almost two months, as a report showed business confidence in Germany surpassed analysts’ forecasts and rose to a record high in January.
The common currency gained versus 15 of its 16 most-active counterparts amid optimism that European policy makers will find a long-term solution to deal with the sovereign-debt crisis. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said the European Union will prevent any potential “liquidity constraint’” in Spain from turning into a region-wide financial crisis.
The Ifo institute’s business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, was 110.3 in January, up from the 109.9 median forecast. That’s the highest since records for a reunified Germany began in 1991.
Further gains in the euro may be limited as Fitch Ratings warned there’s a continuing risk that euro-region nations will have their credit ratings downgraded.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars dropped as a decline in Asian stocks sapped demand for higher-yielding currencies.
Edges back above $1.5900 as sterling recovers its post UK retail sales inspired losses to $1.5870. Offers seen placed at $1.5920/25, said to be profit take interest from dip buyers post data. Key resistance remains at $1.5945/50. Cable support remains at $1.5865 (76.4% $1.5839/1.5945) and while rate can hold above provides some hope for another recovery move. A break targets $1.5835, with bids seen from here through to $1.5830. A break here to open a deeper move toward $1.5810/00 ahead of $1.5780.
After few months 7%+ yields make Portugal debt unstable.
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