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US stocks bounce, shrugging off economic doubts

US stocks bounce, shrugging off economic doubts

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The 'No Blue Jeans' rule was relaxed on the trading floor for the listing of Levi Strauss. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks shrugged off doubts about the US economy and powered higher on Thursday (Mar 21), with Apple soaring ahead of an expected product launch next week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 216.84 points (0.84 per cent) to 25,962.51.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 30.65 points (1.09 per cent) to 2,854.88, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 109.99 points (1.42 per cent) to 7,838.96.

The gains came a day after the Federal Reserve surprised markets with a dovish policy decision that analysts said raised doubts about the US economic outlook.

But Thursday's performance showed investors believe "the Fed will do what it can to please the markets," said Meeschaert Financial Service's Gregori Volokhine, adding that money managers fear losing out on more gains later in the year.

Apple surged 3.6 per cent on positive buzz ahead of a Mar 25 event expected to unveil a new streaming service. Apple was upgraded by Needham and its price target was lifted by Citigroup.

Chip companies also had a strong day, with Advanced Micro Devices winning 8.5 per cent, Western Digital 9.8 per cent and Micron Technology 9.6 per cent following results from Micron.

Levi Strauss, returning to the public markets for the first time in nearly 35 years, soared 31.9 per cent from its initial public offering price.

But biotech company Biogen plunged 29.2 per cent after it halted clinical trials for a medication once thought to offer promise for treating Alzheimer's disease.

Source: AFP/de

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