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U.S. stocks rise as investors awaiting quarterly earnings reports

04-07-2011 10:16 BJT

NEW YORK, April 6 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. stocks rose slightly on Wednesday as investors were waiting for quarterly earnings reports to give them a clearer guidance for investment decisions.

The three major indexes moved up and down in a narrow range for most of the Wednesday trading session as quarterly earnings were just around the corner.

The Dow Jones industrial average advanced 32.85 points, or 0.27 percent, to 12,426.75. The Standard & Poor's gained 2.91 points, or 0.22 percent, to 1,335.54. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 8. 63 points, or 0.31 percent, to 2,799.82.

The economic fundamental factors still provided support to the markets as the latest minutes of Federal Reserve's meeting underscored the U.S. economy was gaining traction, although the central bank still remained vigilant towards inflation risks.

Also, the Labor Department reported last Friday that the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 8.8 percent, showing that the job markets remained improving.

The tech sector was among the biggest gainers on Wednesday, as most technology stocks were affected by re-allocation investments following Nasdaq 100 index's adjustment a day ago.

Nasdaq said on Tuesday that it was rebalancing the Nasdaq 100 Index and would lower Apple's weighting to about 12 percent from more than 20 percent.

Nasdaq explained the move was to better reflect the market capitalizations of the index's stocks and would take effect on May 2.

Cisco Systems Inc.'s shares advanced nearly 5 percent after its CEO promised big changes in a memo to employees.

The financial sector was also Wednesday's winner with Citigroup and Bank of America's shares among the most active ones.

The dollar declined broadly against the euro as the European Central Bank was expected to raise key interest rate at its monetary policy meeting on Thursday.

Although the U.S. domestic crude inventories increased last week, the oil price hit its highest level since September 2008, stimulated by weak dollar and fears over unrest in oil-rich Middle East and North Africa regions.

However, the energy sector retreated on Wednesday as investors started to collect their profits from previous long betting on energy.

As for other markets-affecting news besides upcoming first quarter earnings reports, the weekly jobless claims announced on Thursday and whole sale data on Friday were also closely watched by investors.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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