Stocks higher on spending data
NEW YORK -- A positive report on U.S. consumer spending helped push stocks mostly higher Friday for the first time in three days.
The gains were modest as investors continued to cut their holdings in biotechnology stocks, some of the best performing names of 2013. Instead, the stocks that adv-
anced the most were mostly mature, large companies such as Microsoft, Exxon and Cisco Systems.
The Dow Jones Industrial average rose 58.83 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,323.06. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 8.58 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,857.62. The Nasdaq composite, which includes a number of large biotech companies, rose just 4.53 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,155.76.
The biggest gainer in the Dow was Microsoft, which rose 94 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $40.30. The company announced Thur-
sday that it was bringing Microsoft Office to the iPad and would shift its focus away from Windows, a move that analysts liked. Satya Nadella made the announcement in his first public appearance as the new leader of Microsoft.
"We continue to view (Office on the iPad) as a massive revenue and operating profit opportunity for Microsoft," analysts at Credit Suisse said in a report Thursday.
Microsoft helped lift other large technology companies, with Cisco Systems, Intel and Oracle up roughly 1 percent or more.
In contrast to technology, biotechnology had another horrible day. Gilead Sciences, Biogen Idec and Vertex Phar-
maceuticals were all down 4 percent or more.