* Benchmark Treasury yield at 14-month low
* Tekmira jumps as FDA modifies Ebola treatment status
* Indexes up: Dow 0.3 pct, S&P 0.3 pct, Nasdaq 0.2 pct
(Updates to morning trading)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Aug 8 U.S. stocks rose on Friday, with
high dividend-paying utility stocks leading gains and benchmark
Treasury yields at a 14-month low, as the United States bombed
Islamic State positions in Iraq.
Stock index futures had slumped overnight after President
Barack Obama authorized relief supplies and air strikes on Iraq.
U.S. warplanes struck Iraq Friday for the first time since
American troops pulled out in 2011, attacking Islamic militants
after Obama said Washington must act to prevent a potential
"genocide" of besieged minorities.
Markets had been on tenterhooks recently, with the S&P 500
set to close a second week of losses, after Russia banned the
import of Western foods in retaliation for sanctions over
Moscow's support of Ukrainian separatists.
A rebound in U.S. stock index futures before the market
opened was influenced a report that Russia was aiming to
de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine, some traders said.
Such a turn of events would be beneficial to
Europe's fragile economic recovery.
A global gauge of equities was negative earlier in the day
but pared sharp losses, and safe-haven spot gold dipped
after earlier hitting a three-week high. The yield in the
10-year Treasury note dipped below 2.35 percent for
the first time since June 2013 before trading at 2.3754 - still
a 14-month low.
"The Russian economy is in recession to begin with and they
have a very symbiotic relationship with Europe," said Art
Hogan, chief equity strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New
"If they take the rational decision to de-escalate, that
would be a positive," he said, adding that technical support and
shorts covering positions could have contributed to the rebound
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 56.26 points or
0.34 percent, to 16,424.53, the S&P 500 gained 6.38
points or 0.33 percent, to 1,915.95 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 7.34 points or 0.17 percent, to 4,342.31.
The utilities sector was the best performer in the
S&P 500 with a 0.9 percent advance. The sector's dividend yield
stands at 3.876 percent, more than 100 basis points above the
10-year Treasury yield. Earlier this week, the index flirted
with correction territory as it lost nearly 10 percent from a
high set June 30.
U.S.-traded shares of Canada's Tekmira Pharmaceuticals
jumped 25 percent to $17.83. The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration modified its clinical hold status on Tekmira's
experimental Ebola treatment to enable its potential use for
infected people. The Ebola epidemic now constitutes an
international health risk, the World Health Organization said.
Zynga shares fell 5.1 percent to $2.77 after it cut
its 2014 forecast and said it had delayed several games
including a revamped version of "Zynga Poker."
Nvidia Corp shares jumped 8.2 percent to $18.90
after the graphics chipmaker posted higher fiscal second-quarter
earnings and gave a forecast for current-quarter revenue that
exceeded Wall Street's estimates.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)