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Wall Street gains on Apple, Fed's economic outlook

United States America,Business/Economy, Thu, 26 Apr 2012 IANS

New York, April 26 (IANS) The US Stocks gained broadly Wednesday thanks to strong Apple earning reports and the Federal Reserve's positive economic outlook.


The Dow Jones industrial average gained 89.16 points, or 0.69 percent, to 13,090.72. The Standard & Poor's 500 was up 18.72 points, or 1.36 percent, to 1,390.69. The Nasdaq Composite Index rallied 68.03 points, or 2.30 percent, to 3,029.63, Xinhua reported.


Apple, the largest company in the world by market share, reported late Tuesday its profit doubled in the quarter ending March 31 on the back of soaring sales of the iPhone, especially in China.


According to its report, Apple achieved net income of $11.62 billion, or $12.30 per share, compared to $5.99 billion and $6.40 per share a year earlier.


Meanwhile, Federal Reserve improved its outlook of US economy after its two-day policy meeting Wednesday. The central bank estimated that the US economy will grow between 2.4 percent and 2.9 percent in 2012, 0.2 percentage up from a January forecast of 2.2 percent to 2.7 percent growth.


The Fed also expected the unemployment rate to drop between 7.8 percent and 8 percent by the end of this year. The current reading was 8.2 percent.


The Fed kept the ongoing record low interest rates unchanged near 0. The central bank said it was prepared to take additional easing measures to stimulate the economy if necessary.


The sentiments of the equity market were boosted by Fed's statement, even though the economic data was slightly negative Wednesday.


The Commerce Department said Wednesday that durable goods orders for March showed a surprise drop of 4.2 percent from the previous month, way out of line with expectations of a 2 percent gain.


As for other markets, crude prices edged up Wednesday despite the unexpected steep increase of US crude inventories last week, helped by sharp gains in equities and the Fed's brighter outlook of US economy.


Meanwhile, the US dollar trimmed losses but still traded lower against other major currencies Wednesday after the Fed's statement.


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