Investing.com - Stronger-than-expected earnings reports in the U.S. coupled with hopes Cyprus will find a way out of its financial crisis sent U.S. stocks finishing higher on Friday.
At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.63%, the S&P 500 index ended up 0.72%, while the Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.70%.
Nike and Tiffany released quarterly earnings earlier that surprised many analysts, which sparked a rally in U.S. stock markets on sentiment consumer demand continues to improve.
Consumer spending drives about 70% of the U.S. economy.
Meanwhile, markets remained hopeful Cyprus will raise EUR5.8 billion in fresh revenues, a prerequisite to tap EUR10 billion in multilateral financing arranged by eurozone nations and the International Monetary Fund.
Cyprus recently rejected calls from its lenders to tax bank deposits as part of an effort to raise money and meet requirements to access bailout money.
While the country rejected such a proposal amid widespread criticism at home, Cypriot policymakers were moving closer to alternative plans that included Greece taking over Cypriot banks, which eased fears of a messy exit from the eurozone.
Better-than-expected jobs data released on Thursday in the U.S. pumped up prices as well.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that the number of people filing for initial jobless benefits last week rose by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 336,000, below expectations for an increase of 8,000 to 342,000.
Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Hewlett-Packard, up 3.14%, Wal-Mart Stores, up 1.57%, and 3M, up 1.42%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included UnitedHealth Group, down 1.07%, Cisco Systems, down 0.43%, and DuPont, down 0.16%.
European indices, meanwhile, finished largely lower.
After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.08%, France's CAC 40 fell 0.12%, while Germany's DAX 30 finished down 0.27%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 finished up 0.07%.
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