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U.S. stocks move broadly higher, as dollar continues to weaken

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Shutterstock photo - -- Stocks on the U.S. equities markets soared on Friday, as the dollar continued to move lower following relatively dovish comments by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen earlier in the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed more than 165 points higher, marking its fifth triple-digit gain in a maddening volatile month of March.

The NASDAQ Composite index gained nearly 0.75% to move above the 5,000 level, finishing its best week since October. At one point late in the trading day, the NASDAQ moved less than 15 points away from reaching its record-high of 5,048.62 from March, 2000. The NASDAQ closed at 5,026.42, up 0.68% or 34.04.

Led by strong gains in the Financial, Oil & Gas and Consumer Goods sectors, the S&P 500 edged higher by 18.79 or 0.90% to 2,108.06. All 10 sectors on the S&P 500 closed in the green on Friday.

Stocks on the Dow increased 0.94% or 168.36 on Friday to close the week at 18,127.39. Nike, one of the world's largest sneaker and athletic apparel companies, gained more than 4% to reach a record high at 103.79. It came one day after Nike announced strong fourth quarter forecasts in after-hour trading on the basis of an 11% increase in global future orders. Nike, which ended the session as the top performer on the Dow, gained 4.15 points to close at 102.47.

The worst performer of the day was UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), which fell 1.20% or 1.46 to close at 119.31.

The biggest gainer of the day on the NASDAQ was Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB), Inc. which rose more than 9.5% to 475.00, after receiving positive test results for its Alzheimer's drug Aducanumab. Presenting at a biotech conference in Nice, France, Biogen indicated that the drug was responsible for creating reductions in amyloid plaque levels in the brains of patients with the neurodegenerative disease. The worst performer of the day was Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX), which dropped 2.78 or 2.07% to 131.47.

Biogen was also the top performer on the S&P 500, ahead of Phoenix-based copper mining company Freeport McMoRan which gained 1.15 or 6.66% to close at 18.41. At one point on Friday, copper futures rose by more than 3% a pound. The worst performer was Airgas (NYSE:ARG), Inc. which fell 5.71 or 5.05% to 107.30.

Tiffany & Company, a worldwide luxury jeweler and specialty retailer, fell 3.44 or 3.98% to 82.95 amid disappointing quarterly results. Macerich, a California-based real estate investment trust, which is embroiled in a potential hostile takeover by fellow mall owner Simon Property Group (NYSE:SPG), dropped 4.22 or 4.51% to 82.93. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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