US Stocks Record Biggest Weekly Advance In Six Weeks

Date : 04/27/2012 @ 4:49PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. (MM) (MDRX)
Quote : 11.38  -0.11 (-0.96%) @ 4:07PM

US Stocks Record Biggest Weekly Advance In Six Weeks

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. (MM) (NASDAQ:MDRX)
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Solid quarterly results from consumer-oriented stocks including Amazon.com sent stocks higher, nudging benchmark indexes to their biggest weekly advance in more than a month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 23.69 points, or 0.2%, to 13228.31, on Friday, and the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index advanced 3.38 points, or 0.2%, to 1403.36. Both rose for the fourth session in a row and recorded the biggest weekly gains for each since March 16. The Dow rose 1.5% this week, while the S&P 500 climbed 1.8%.

Friday's trading pushed Dow industrials into positive territory for the month. Should the 0.1% gain hold through Monday, blue chips would finish April with their seventh-straight monthly advance, the longest streak in five years.

The Nasdaq Composite added 18.59 points, or 0.6%, to 3069.20. The technology-heavy Nasdaq climbed 2.3% this week, its biggest weekly rise in nearly three months.

Consumer-discretionary stocks led Friday's gains. Amazon soared 16% after the online retailer reported first-quarter revenue jumped 34%. Expedia jumped 24% and hit an all-time high after the online travel agent booked better-than-forecast first-quarter adjusted earnings and revenue.

"Earnings are consistently performing better than what had been, admittedly, very modest expectations," said Phil Orlando, chief equity strategist for Federated Investors. "The whisper thinking was that we would see negative year-over-year results for both revenue and earnings. The numbers are not blowouts, but we're getting single-digit growth for both the top and bottom lines."

Not all reports were met with cheers. Procter & Gamble fell 3.6% after the consumer-goods company topped fiscal third-quarter earnings estimates but came up short of revenue forecasts. The company also provided a fourth-quarter outlook that was below projections.

Investors shrugged off a downbeat first-quarter economic growth report. The Commerce Department's first reading on gross domestic product, a broad measure of all the goods and services produced in the economy, was lower than expected.

Separately, an economic report showed U.S. consumers in late April felt better about the economy than earlier in the month.

European markets traded broadly higher as a successful Italian bond auction offset concerns about a downgrade to Spain's credit rating. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.8% to notch its fifth advance in six sessions after Italy sold close to the maximum target of government bonds, erasing losses suffered after Standard & Poor's cut Spain's long-term sovereign-credit rating two notches.

Asian markets were mostly lower, as worries about Spain's downgrade offset additional easing moves by the Bank of Japan. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average closed down 0.4% after the central bank said it would increase its asset-purchase program.

Crude-oil prices slipped 0.4%, to $104.93 a barrel, while gold prices rose 0.3%, to $1664.00 a troy ounce. The dollar lost ground against the euro and the yen. Demand for Treasury bonds fell, pushing the benchmark 10-year note up to 1.931%.

In other corporate news, Starbucks slid 5.3% after the coffee chain reported fiscal second-quarter results that missed estimates, although the company also lifted its full-year earnings outlook.

Ford Motor fell 2.3% after the auto maker reported first-quarter earnings and revenue that declined from year-earlier levels but exceeded analyst expectations.

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions tumbled 36% after the health-care records company missed first-quarter earnings expectations and terminated its chairman, which prompted three other board members to resign in protest. Allscripts didn't give details about why Chairman Philip Pead was ousted.

Investors showed muted enthusiasm for initial public offerings from Acquity Group and Edgen Group. Hong Kong-based Acquity, which helps clients improve e-commerce websites to drive sale, fell 4.2% from its $6 IPO price.

Edgen, a distributor of parts used in the oil and gas industry, fell 14% from its $11 IPO price.

-By Chris Dieterich, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2611; christopher.dieterich@dowjones.com

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