US STOCKS-Wall St rises on Nike, lower dollar; snaps 3-week string of losses

viernes 20 de marzo de 2015 16:33 GYT

* Nike rises after results, outlook

* Biotechs advance for eighth session

* Indexes rise: Dow and S&P 0.9 percent, Nasdaq 0.7 percent (Updates to close)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

March 20 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Friday, pushing the Nasdaq to a 15-year high and helping the S&P 500 snap a three-week string of losses, following a pullback in the dollar, upbeat results from Nike and further biotech gains.

Recent sharp gains in the U.S. dollar have increased worries about the currency's impact on the earnings of U.S. multinationals. S&P 500 earnings projections for the first quarter and for 2015 have fallen sharply since Jan. 1.

Among early reporters, Nike jumped 3.7 percent to $101.98 as the biggest boost to the Dow after it posted a quarterly profit that beat market estimates. The world's largest sportswear maker sold more higher-margin shoes and apparel but warned that the stronger dollar would take a toll on its current quarter.

The Nasdaq biotech index rose for an eighth straight session, gaining 7.4 percent since March 10. It climbed 0.5 percent on Friday, powered by a 9.8 percent climb in Biogen Idec to $475.98. volume was high. About 9.2 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, compared with the 6.6 billion average for the month to date, according to data from BATS Global Markets.

The company said its experimental drug became the first Alzheimer's treatment to significantly slow cognitive decline and reduce brain plaque in patients with early and mild forms of the disease, according to a small study.   Continuación...