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U.S. stocks advanced, giving the Nasdaq-100 Index its biggest increase this year, after Apple Inc. said quarterly earnings almost doubled and the Federal Reserve said it expects growth to gradually accelerate.
Policy makers led by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke are holding off on additional steps to boost the economy amid signs the more than two-year expansion is gaining strength. Still, the jobless rate isn’t declining fast enough to satisfy central bankers, who repeated their view today that borrowing costs are likely to remain “exceptionally low” at least through late 2014.
DOW 13,075.60 +74.02 0.57%, S&P 500 1,388.26 +16.29 1.19%, NASDAQ 3,024.57 +62.97 2.13%
Apple surged 8.8 percent to $609.44. Demand from Chinese consumers helped Apple sell a higher-than-predicted 35.1 million iPhones last quarter and made the world’s most populous country responsible for 20 percent of sales, up from 12 percent last year. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said there will be “a lot more opportunity” in China as he introduces the iPad and expands operations there.
Boeing (ВА) gained 3.8 percent to $75.96. It shipped 137 jetliners last quarter, compared with 131 deliveries by rival Airbus SAS, as the Chicago-based planemaker moves to recapture the title of biggest commercial jet producer it lost in 2003. Boeing is boosting output by more than 60 percent in the four years through 2014 to pare a record order backlog from customers seeking more fuel-efficient jets.
Corning Inc. advanced 5.6 percent to $14.10. The largest maker of glass for flat-panel television sets reported first- quarter earnings excluding some items of 30 cents a share, exceeding the average analyst estimate of 28 cents.
Caterpillar (САТ) slumped 5.1 percent, the most in the Dow, to $102.89. The company says sales in developing nations this year will be lower than anticipated, a reversal after 2011 growth in Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region outpaced North America, helping to drive record revenue and profit.
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