* Nike rises after results, outlook
* Biotechs on track for eighth straight advance
* Indexes up: Dow 0.78 pct, S&P 0.68 pct, Nasdaq 0.7 pct (Updates to market open)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
March 20 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Friday, lifted by results from Nike and another climb in biotechs, as investors assessed the impact of a stronger dollar on corporate earnings.
Dow component Nike jumped 3.7 percent to $101.95 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.
“There is a tug-of-war going on between current valuations in our market and a lot of bad news being priced into a strong dollar, with no good news being priced into a strong dollar,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York.
“We are taking the multinationals out to the woodshed and not moving consumer names higher.”
Biotechs were on track for their eighth straight advance, powered by a 6.6 percent climb in Biogen Idec to $466.07. 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. The Nasdaq biotech index has gained 8 percent since March 10.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 140 points, or 0.78 percent, to 18,099.03, the S&P 500 gained 14.17 points, or 0.68 percent, to 2,103.44 and the Nasdaq Composite added 34.90 points, or 0.7 percent, to 5,027.28.
The market may see heightened volatility heading into the close as a result of quadruple witching - the expiration of stock options, index options, index futures and single-stock futures.
Olive Garden owner Darden Restaurants reported a quarterly profit above analysts’ estimates due to cost-cutting and better-than-expected sales at its chains such as LongHorn Steakhouse and Yard House. Its shares climbed 3 percent to $66.80.
But Tiffany & Co. shares lost 3.2 percent to $83.63 after the upscale jeweler reported quarterly sales fell for the first time in five years and are expected to decline further in the current quarter, hurt by the strong dollar.
The dollar was off 1.2 percent against a basket of major currencies and was on track for its first weekly decline in five.
Simon Property Group, the No.1 U.S. mall owner, raised its offer for Macerich Co three days after its smaller rival rejected its earlier offer, adopted a poison pill and changed board structure to prevent a hostile takeover. Simon Property advanced 1.1 percent to $194.16 while Macerich lost 7.6 percent to $86.38.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 2,268 to 482, for a 4.71-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,682 issues rose and 642 fell for a 2.62-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 52 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 130 new highs and 7 new lows. (Editing by Bernadette Baum)