U.S. stocks bounced back courageously on Friday after a week during which investors were rattled by a combination of the worst equities and commodities sell-off of the year, as well as the frantic sequence of events in the wake of Monday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon.
After police killed one of the suspected perpetrators of the bomb attack during a shoot-out in the early hours of the morning, Boston has been on lockdown the entire day as the hunt continues for a second suspect who escaped during an exchange of fire that included explosives as well as guns.
Meanwhile, a series of strong earnings reports releases provided a boost for technology stocks.
The Dow was up 0.07 percent to 14,547.51, headed by Microsoft (MSFT), up 3.39 percent to $29.76 on earnings that bested expectations. Verizon Communications (VZ) was also up 2.63 percent to $52.25 as the company reported a revenue increase for the first quarter of over 4 percent, while AT&T (T) was up 1.43 percent to $38.28.
Other notable gains on the Dow were made by Boeing Co. (BA), up 2.14 percent to $87.96, and Merck & Co. (MRK), up 2 percent to $47.49.
Shares for IBM (IBM) continued the tumble that began in late trading yesterday after their release of earnings, losing 8.28 percent to $190, after coming up well short on earnings and revenue resulting from a sizable decrease in hardware sales.
The S&P 500 was up 0.88 percent to 1,555.25, with Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) soaring throughout the day to a gain of 11.54 percent, closing at $366.25, on a very strong earnings report that beat expectations based on increased customer volume and more store openings.
Confectioner Mondelez International (MDLZ) was up 5.27 percent to $31.69 after activist investor announced a 19.4 million-share stake in the company, nearly 1.10 percent of available shares. Capital One Financial (COF) was up 6.40 percent to close at $56.17 after its earnings release indicated the company far surpassed expectations on earnings.
The Nasdaq closed at 3,206.06 with the day’s biggest percentage gain of 1.25 percent, with massive gain for Vertex Pharmaceuticals, up nearly 62 percent to $85.60 after the company reported positive results from tests of Kalydeco, the cystic fibrosis drug it is currently developing.
Meanwhile Google (GOOG) headed back toward the $800 per share mark, up 4.43 percent to close at $799.87 on the strength of its earnings report released during late trading yesterday. BlackBerry (BBRY) was up 2.52 percent to $13.84, while both Yahoo! (YHOO) and Facebook (FB) bumped slightly as well.
Dell Inc. (DELL) dropped 3.94 percent to $13.40 after a new development in the weeks-long buyout negotiations came in the form of Blackstone pulling its bid off the table, and Carl Icahn threatening to do much the same.
Theme park SeaWorld (SEAS) saw its shares perform extremely well on its first day of trading, closing at $33.84, up about 25 percent from its IPO price.
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