• US stocks higher ahead of crucial EU meet

    NEW YORK, June 27, 2012 (AFP) – A rebound in US durable goods orders in May, a sign of firmer action in US industry, helped push US stocks higher Wednesday in the wake of European and Asian markets.

    All sectors except discretionary consumer goods were higher, as traders shrugged off the discord in Europe ahead of a crucial summit Thursday to deal with the eurozone crisis.

    At the close of trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 92.34 points (0.74 percent) at 12,627.01.

    The S&P 500 index advanced 11.86 (0.90 percent) to 1,331.85, while the tech-rich Nasdaq rose 21.26 (0.74 percent) to 2,875.32.

    News Corp shares gained 2.5 percent as company board members gathered in New York to consider splitting Rupert Murdoch’s media giant into two, hiving off its poorly performing newspapers from its more profitable entertainment businesses.

    Facebook fell 2.6 percent to $32.23 — still well below its $38 IPO price — as a slew of brokers issued their analyses for the company for the first time since it went public, their forecasts ranging from extremely poor to a booming success.

    Bank of America was up 2.0 percent and JPMorgan Chase 3.0 percent to lead the Dow.

    On the Nasdaq, Google gained 0.8 percent as it launched its own branded Nexus 7 tablet computer Wednesday, challenging the Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle Fire.

    Amazon was flat and Apple added 0.4 percent.

    Shares in the large auto parts retailer AutoZone fell 4.6 percent despite reporting a 9.3 percent rise in fiscal third-quarter earnings and a slight increase in margins. Total net sales came in slightly under forecasts.

    Homebuilder Lennar gained 4.8 percent as it reported improved sales in its homebuilding division, amid slight signs of a pickup in new home sales.

    Bond prices inched higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 1.62 percent from 1.63 percent Tuesday, while the 30-year yield fell to 2.69 percent from at 2.70 percent.

    Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

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