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Dow blue chips higher but Nasdaq sags

Reported by AAP
Saturday, February 18, 2012
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The Dow blue chips closed in the black Friday to end the week higher but the Nasdaq took a turn lower pulled down in part by a sharp fall in the share price of leading biotech firm Gilead.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 45.79 points (0.35 per cent) to 12,949.87, its best finish since May 19, 2008.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 3.19 points (0.23 per cent) to 1,361.23, its highest level since the beginning of May last year.

But the Nasdaq Composite lost 8.07 (0.27 per cent) to 2,951.78.

Markets were cautious amid stronger signals from Europe that Greece's complex bailout could be decided on Monday. European markets were higher amid rising confidence, with the Eurostoxx 50 average of blue chips jumping 1.2 per cent.

Germany signalled that it expects eurozone finance ministers to take a decision on aid for Greece on Monday.

"We are coming ever closer to a final basis for a decision on Monday but ... there are still details to be cleared up," said a German finance ministry spokesman.

Inflation data showing the US consumer price index rose 0.2 per cent month-on-month in January from December's flat rate helped temper early trade.

"Although the gain in headline CPI was less than expected in January, core inflation pressures continue to build," said RDQ Economics.

The Dow's gains were led by Intel, up 2.0 per cent, and Dupont, which added 1.9 per cent.

A 3.5 per cent fall in shares of Chinese search platform Baidu and a 14.3 per cent drop in Gilead Sciences held the Nasdaq down, as the tech market's big-hitters like Apple and Microsoft traded flat.

Gilead Sciences sank on news of difficulties in patient tests of its experimental hepatitis C therapy.

Bond prices slipped. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.01 per cent from 1.99 per cent on Thursday, while the 30-year rose to 3.16 per cent from 3.15 per cent.

Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

26/10/2014 11:17Sydney, Australia. 26 October,2014
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