Nasdaq Composite posts record close as financials lead USA stocks higher

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York U.S
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02 April, 2017

All three are set for solid gains for the first quarter, and the Dow is on track to post its sixth straight quarterly gain, the longest such streak since 2006.

USA stocks were little changed on Friday, with the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average firmly on course to book their biggest first-quarter gains in four years.

Amazon.com was the top stock on the S&P and the Nasdaq, with a 0.5 percent gain.

Canada's main stock index has been hovering near the break-even point today.

The biggest faller in the Nasdaq was sportswear maker Lululemon Athletica, which plunged by almost a quarter after it warned that sales were likely to fall. The S&P 500 dipped 5.34 points, or 0.23 percent, to 2,362.72.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 1.25 points, or 0.02 percent, on volume of 21,177 contracts. Cenovus was down 9.8 percent at $11.80.

The S&P 500 index showed eight 52-week highs and one low, while the Nasdaq recorded 56 highs and 10 lows. Gross domestic product increased at a 2.1 per cent annualized rate instead of the previously-reported 1.9 per cent pace.

Stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Thursday following the lackluster performance seen in the previous session.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 69.17 points, or 0.33 percent, to 20,728.49.

In economic news, the United States economy grew at a rate of 2.1% in the final quarter of 2016, surpassing expectations.

The drop in Cenovus' stock showed investors are viewing the deal as "highly dilutive to the shareholders and a company with pretty much a pristine balance sheet is now leveraged to the hilt and very, very, very dependent on higher oil prices to make sure the deal actually works as planned", said Norman Levine, managing director at Portfolio Management Corp.

The firm also said it expects to continue to grow its annual dividend at a high-single-digit to low-double-digit percentage range for a number of years.

BlackBerry (BBRY) has climbed 5.9% to $7.36 after beating earnings forecasts.

The sale of the crop protection interests was a pre-requisite for the European Commission's approval of DuPont's merger with The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW).

CIBC, which fell almost 3 per cent on Thursday after it raised its offer for PrivateBancorp Inc, recouped some of the previous session's losses, rising 0.6 per cent to $114.48.

Today, the company expanded its share buy-back program, launched a $1.2bn debt offering, and decided it would not spin-off its real estate assets into a separate real estate investment trust (REIT). Brent crude, used to price global oils, added 12 cents to $53.25. The greenback rose as Fed speakers suggested rates may need to rise faster than the market now anticipates, while the euro weakened as ECB officials hinted the bank would stick with its loose monetary policy.


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