June 20, 2013 | 05:19 PM (BD Time)
20 June, 2013 Thursday
No polls until doomsday if caretaker comes: PM ; SC appoints 2 amici curiae for Quader Mollah appeal hearing ; 3 robbers killed in Sunderbans ; India floods strand thousands: more than 100 dead ; 8 killed in lightning strikes in C'nawabganj ; RMG factory catches fire in city ; Obama in berlin calls for US-Russia nuclear weapons cuts; 18-party to stage demo countrywide on June 22 ; Scenarios for Snowden: Escape, arrest, asylum
World Stock markets
US stocks fall on GDP data, EU shares rise
. Finance Desk
Tech giants Apple and Amazon proved their mettle to doubting investors once again, leading US stocks higher in the week to Friday as the markets showed they had not yet run out of steam.
The world's biggest company, market value-wise, and the Internet's biggest retailer, both showed up analysts with forecast-busting results that gave the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 firm boosts.
They also helped distract from other possible sources of investor worry -- a somewhat glum US growth report for the first quarter, Federal Reserve inaction on hopes for more stimulus, new worries in Europe and some concern about Chinese growth, reports AFP.
Friday brought a lower-than-forecast estimate for first- quarter US growth, of only 2.2 percent, down from 3.0 percent in the final quarter of 2011.
For the week the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.53 percent to end at 13,228.31, and the S&P gained 1.8 percent to 1,403.36.
The Nasdaq though picked up 2.29 percent, helped mainly by Apple's 5.2 percent gain for the week, and Amazon's 19.4 percent run. Also helping the markets were blue-chip Boeing's earnings, which delivered a 5.1 percent boost to the aircraft maker's shares for the period.
"The reporting period has been much better than expected, although admittedly from a lower bar -- 83 percent of companies have beaten expectations so far, which is an all-time record high," said analysts at Charles Schwab & Co.
Meanwhile, European stock markets closed higher yesterday as investors found positives in weaker-than- expected US headline growth data, offsetting record Spanish jobless figures that stoked concerns on the eurozone.
US growth slowed sharply to 2.2 percent in the first quarter from 3.0 percent in the last three months of 2011 but consumer demand held up strongly, suggesting there was some underlying strength, dealers said.
They said that was enough for Wall Street to stage modest gains, supporting Europe after Spanish unemployment hit a record 24.4 percent and Standard and Poor's slashed the country's rating by two notches.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index of top companies closed up 0.49 percent to 5,777.11 points. In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 gained 0.91 percent to 6,801.32 points and in Paris the CAC 40 advanced 1.14 percent to 3,226.27 points.
Madrid, down sharply by 2.65 percent at the open following the S&P downgrade, confounded the gloomy jobless news to show a gain of 1.69 percent.
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