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US stocks rise on hopes of Cyprus deal

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

US stocks closed Friday firmly higher amid hopes that the Cyprus banking crisis will be resolved this weekend.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 90.54 points (0.63 percent) at 14,512.03.

The broad-based S&P 500 increased 11.09 (0.72 percent) to 1,556.89, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 22.40 (0.70 percent) to 3,245.00.

The rebound followed market losses Thursday due to some weak earnings reports and uncertainty about Cyprus.

"We're taking back a lot of the losses we've seen," said Anthony Conroy, a trader at BNY Convergex Group.

The European Central Bank has given Cyprus until Monday to clinch a bailout deal or face withdrawal of ECB emergency financing for its stricken banking system.

"They're going to have some kind of deal," Conroy predicted.

Conroy said markets have been "resilient" in spite of the Cyprus situation, thanks to corporate earnings, strengthening in the housing sector and the fact that most US banks passed government stress tests.

Most of the blue-chip companies in the Dow index moved little. An exception was the often-volatile Hewlett-Packard, which gained 3.2 percent.

Athletic apparel giant Nike soared 11.1 percent after besting earnings forecasts by a wide margin.

Upscale jeweler Tiffany & Co. jumped 1.9 percent after reporting a slight increase in year-over-year earnings and projecting higher profits for 2013.

Darden Restaurants, which owns Red Lobster, Olive Garden and other restaurant chains, picked up 1.4 percent despite reporting a decline in year-over-year profits. The company declared a 50-cent dividend.

BlackBerry, which launched its new Z10 smartphone in the United States Friday, dropped 7.7 percent after rallying earlier in the week.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.92 percent from 2.0 percent Thursday, while the 30-year fell to 3.14 percent from 3.23 percent. Bond prices move inversely to yields.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130322/us-stocks-rise-hopes-cyprus-deal-0