Nasdaq jumps above 5,000 as dollar retreats

NEW YORK (AFP) - The Nasdaq Friday bolted above 5,000 following a surge in biotech company Biogen as US stocks gained more broadly on a pullback in the dollar.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 34.04 (0.68 per cent) to 5,026.42, finishing above 5,000 for only the fourth time in its history.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 168.62 (0.94 per cent) to 18,127.65, while the broad-based S&P 500 rose 18.79 (0.90 per cent) to 2,108.06.

US stocks got a lift as the dollar retreated following a Federal Reserve statement two days ago that vowed a cautious approach to lifting interest rates.

“The market is cheering the news that the Fed rate increase will happen later in the year than previously thought,” said David Levy, a portfolio manager at Kenjol Capital Management.

Biogen surged 9.8 per cent after reporting that clinical trials of its aducanumab drug slowed dementia by a significant amount.

Other biotech companies to gain included Celgene (+2.5 per cent) and Gilead Sciences (+0.8 per cent).

Petroleum-linked stocks rallied on stronger oil prices. Dow member Chevron gained 2.2 per cent, Marathon Oil rose 1.9 per cent and Schlumberger tacked on 1.7 per cent.

Dow member Nike jumped 3.7 per cent as earnings for the quarter ending Feb 28 gained 16 per cent to US$791 million (S$1.1 billion).

Shopping mall company Macerich fell 4.6 per cent after rival Simon Property Group raised its bid from its previous US$91 a share to US$95.50 in “its best and final offer” for a deal. Simon rose 2.7 per cent.

Amazon advanced 1.4 per cent following news US aviation officials will permit the online retailer to carry out testing for its drone programme which could be used for quick deliveries.

Jewelry chain Tiffany shed 4 per cent following its forecast of a drop of about 30 per cent in first-quarter earnings.

Bond prices rose.

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 1.92 per cent from 1.97 per cent Thursday, while the 30-year dropped to 2.50 per cent from 2.53 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.