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US: Disney, Apple advance helps lift stocks

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Gains by Disney, Apple and some other large equities helped lift US stocks into positive territory on Monday ahead of earnings from Wal-Mart Stores and Federal Reserve meeting minutes.

[NEW YORK] Gains by Disney, Apple and some other large equities helped lift US stocks into positive territory on Monday ahead of earnings from Wal-Mart Stores and Federal Reserve meeting minutes.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 67.78 points (0.39 per cent) to 17,545.18.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 10.90 (0.52 per cent) to 2,102.44, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 43.46 (0.86 per cent) to 5,091.70 Disney rose 1.8 per cent following a weekend presentation on plans to add to theme parks attractions from the wildly popular Star Wars movie franchise.

Dow members Apple and McDonald's rose 1.0 per cent and 1.4 per cent, respectively.

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Highlights this week include Wal-Mart earnings Tuesday and Wednesday's release of Fed minutes, which could shed light on the US central bank's timing for an interest rate increase, expected later this year.

Petroleum-linked stocks were mixed as crude-oil prices fell.

Dow member Chevron fell 2.0 per cent and land driller Nabors Industries lost 2.1 per cent. But ExxonMobil, another Dow member, rose 0.5 per cent and offshore driller Transocean added 1.1 per cent.

Nasdaq stocks with especially large gains included Biogen (+1.1 per cent), Netflix (+1.6 per cent) and Priceline (+1.8 per cent).

Tesla Motors, another prominent Nasdaq equity, jumped 4.9 per cent as Morgan Stanley lifted its price target on the stock, citing the company's work on a mobile application-based shared transport system.

Comcast advanced 2.6 per cent after its unit Universal Studios's biopic Straight Outta Compton about rappers Ice Cube and Dr. Dre debuted at the top of the North American weekend box office tally, with US$56.1 million in ticket sales.

Zulily, an online retailer of women's and children's clothing, surged 49.1 per cent on news it would be acquired by Liberty Interactive's QVC cable TV shopping group for US$2.4 billion. Liberty dropped 1.5 per cent.

Cosmetics giant Estee Lauder fell 6.8 per cent after projecting earnings in the current quarter of 75-78 cents per share, below the 81 cents expected by analysts.

Pipeline company Williams rose 5.6 per cent following a report that it received a bid from potential acquirer Spectra Energy. Spectra fell 0.5 per cent.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 2.17 per cent from 2.20 per cent, while the 30-year dipped to 2.82 per cent from 2.84 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

AFP

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