US stocks up slightly, capping a strong week

April 18th, 2009 - 7:10 am ICT by IANS  

New York, April 18 (DPA) US stocks edged up Friday, ending another positive week that was led by better-than-expected earnings from the banking industry.
The rise capped a sixth straight weekly advance for major US stock indices amid some signs that the US economic crisis may be easing.

Four major US banks reported first-quarter earnings this week that surprised analysts, giving investors hope that the financial sector at the heart of the wider global downturn may be stabilizing.

Citigroup Friday said its banking business made a $1.6-billion profit in the first three months of 2009, though the company still reported a nearly $1-billion loss because of outstanding dividend payments to shareholders.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average rose slightly by 5.9 points, or 0.07 percent, to 8,131.33 points. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 4.30 points, or 0.5 percent, to 869.60. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index increased 2.63 points, or 0.16 percent, to 1,673.07.

For the week, the Dow rose 0.6 percent and the S&P 500 climbed 1.5 percent.

The US currency rose against the euro to 76.67 euro cents from 75.89 euro cents Thursday. The dollar fell against the Japanese currency to 99.16 yen from 99.38 yen.

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