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April 13, 2015

Facebook and Apple lift Nasdaq to near record high

Apple Watch one of the reasons stocks surged

U.S. stocks rose on Monday boosted by technology shares, with Facebook and Apple lifting the Nasdaq Composite to near its record high.

Apple shares rose after reports the Apple Watch received about a million orders in its debut. Facebook gained 2 percent in its largest gain in more than three weeks.

Corporate earnings season was poised to kick into high gear with a slew of reports this week.

Big banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, are due to report results, providing an expected bright spot in an otherwise gloomy first quarter. Profits of companies on the S&P 500 are projected to have declined 2.9 percent in the first three months from a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The dollar gained 0.3 percent against a basket of major currencies after hitting a peak of 99.99, its highest in four weeks. Market participants have been concerned about the impact of the currency's strength on the profits of multinational companies.
"We had a big move last week and we're heading into earnings season and we've had a few warning signs last week from a couple of companies where the impact of foreign exchange is going to be greater than what was previously thought," said Brian Fenske, head of sales trading at ITG in New York.
At 11:42 a.m. the Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 29.42 points, or 0.16 percent, to 18,087.07, the S&P 500 gained 3.08 points, or 0.15 percent, to 2,105.14 and the Nasdaq Composite added 23.89 points, or 0.48 percent, to 5,019.87.
Analysts' estimates have dipped on rising oil prices and the stronger dollar but simply beating on earnings is not going to be enough, said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments in Lisle, Illinois. Investors will be more concerned with revenue, he said.
Apple shares rose 0.4 percent to $127.55 as analysts said the company will likely ramp up production of the Apple Watch on strong pre-orders.
Netflix shares were up 5.6 percent at $480.10 after the video streaming company said Friday it was seeking to increase its share authorization by nearly 30 times as a possible first step towards a stock split.
Qualcomm shares were up 0.3 percent at $69.39 after activist investor Jana Partners asked the chipmaker to consider spinning off its chip unit from its patent-licensing business.
Builders FirstSource shares soared 59 percent to $10.96, The supplier of residential building products said it would buy privately-held ProBuild Holdings for $1.63 billion in cash.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,611 to 1,310, for a 1.23-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,629 issues rose and 960 fell, for a 1.70-to-1 ratio.
The S&P 500 was posting 24 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 85 new highs and 11 new lows.