* Global stocks surge, spurred by Apple's strong results
* Euro gains, dollar slips after Bernanke, Fed statement
* Bond yields pare some losses, crude oil ends higher
By Herbert Lash
NEW YORK, April 25 Global shares jumped on
W ednesday after better-than-expected earnings from Apple Inc
bolstered optimism over corporate earnings and the Federal
Reserve reiterated its expectation that interest rates would not
rise until late 2014 at the earliest.
The dollar slipped and U.S. stocks extended gains after Fed
Chairman Ben Bernanke said the U.S. central bank "would not
hesitate" to launch another round of bond purchases to drive
borrowing costs lower if it looked like the economy needed
The broad S&P 500 rose more than 1 percent and the Nasdaq
climbed more than 2 percent, on Apple's results.
The Fed raised its forecasts for economic growth and core
inflation and lowered its expectations for the unemployment rate
for 2012. The forecasts countered data earlier in the day on
capital good orders, which indicated slower growth in the second
The euro dropped to session lows against the U.S. dollar
after the Fed raised its growth forecast for this year by
two-tenths of a percentage point to a range of 2.4 to 2.9
The euro later gained, rising almost 0.3 percent at
$1.3225 in late New York trade.
"The forecast was broadly as expected. The biggest shift was
zero now expect tightening in 2016 and those people migrated to
2014. It is slightly hawkish, but in line with expectations,"
said Jacob Oubina, senior U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets
in New York.
U.S. equity markets were up the day after Apple reported
quarterly profit almost doubled from a year earlier.
Shares of Apple rose 8.9 percent to $610.41 on a
surge that increased its market capitalization by about $50
Apple's forecast-beating results removed a weeks-old market
overhang and lifted optimism in a corporate earnings season that
is already far outstripping expectations. About 75 percent of
the 200 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported results so
far have beat expectations, a rate that is above the norm.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 72.05 points,
or 0.55 percent, at 13,073.61. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
was up 16.71 points, or 1.22 percent, at 1,388.68. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 65.34 points, or 2.21
percent, at 3,026.94.
Investors shrugged off a Commerce Department report that
showed durable goods orders for March fell 4.2 percent, the
biggest decline in three years and the latest of recent signs of
softness in U.S. economic data.
"This adds to the evidence that momentum in the economy sort
of fell flat in March," said Ellen Zentner, senior U.S.
economist at Nomura Securities in New York.
However, non-defense capital goods shipments excluding
aircraft, used to calculate gross domestic product, were much
stronger than expected in March, she said.
The 2.6 percent increase is "likely to lift estimates,
believe it or not, for first-quarter GDP," Zentner said.
"But... this report implies a fairly weak outlook for business
MSCI's all-country world equity index rose
1.0 percent to 326.46, but its emerging markets index
traded near break-even on a slide in Brazilian equities.
Itau Unibanco Holding, Brazil's biggest private-sector
lender, said it will set aside more money to cover growing
European shares rose for a second day, buoyed by a crop of
strong earnings reports. The FTSE Eurofirst index of
top European shares closed up 1 percent at 1,042.55.
U.S. Treasury debt prices fell. The benchmark 10-year U.S.
Treasury note was down 3/32 in price to yield 1.98
Brent rose 96 cents to settle at $119.00 a barrel.
U.S. crude for June delivery settled up 57 cents at
$104.12 a barrel.