Stocks Opened Higher after Strong Retail Earnings

U.S. stocks opened higher on Friday, rebounding from their biggest drop in nearly a month as stronger-than-projected results from Nike Inc. and Tiffany & Co. bolstered sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately climbed 62.51 points, or 0.43%, to 14,484.00. The S&P 500 index gained 6.95 points, or 0.45%, to 1,552.75. The Nasdaq Composite index advanced 13.40 points, or 0.42%, to 3,236.00.

Nike Inc. (NYSE:NKE) reported a better-than-expected quarterly result and its orders, a gauge of future demand, for China and North America also topped Wall Street expectations.

Tiffany says its fourth-quarter net income edged up less than 1 percent, but still beat Wall Street predictions. For the quarter ended Jan. 31, Tiffany earned $179.6 million, or $1.40 per share. Revenue rose 4 percent to $1.24 billion.

The Federal Reserve’s aggressive easing of monetary policy is proving surprisingly effective at blunting the blow to the economy from tighter fiscal policy, according to economists who have been scrambling to raise their growth forecasts.

Russia rebuffed Cypriot entreaties for aid on Friday, leaving the island’s increasingly isolated leaders scrambling to strike a bailout deal with the European Union by next week or face the collapse of its financial system.

Darden Restaurants’ third-quarter net income dropped 18 percent, as it dealt with soft sales at Red Lobster but the performance still beat Wall Street’s expectations. For the three months ended Feb. 24, Darden earned $134.4 million, or $1.02 per share. That’s down from $164.1 million, or $1.25 per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 5 percent to $2.26 billion from $2.16 billion, matching Wall Street’s view.

KB Home’s (KBH) first quarter 2013 adjusted loss (excluding income tax benefit) of 16 cents per share. The loss was also significantly narrower than the year-ago loss of 51 cents per share. Total revenue increased 59% from the year-ago quarter to $405.2 million in the first quarter of 2013, driven by higher number of homes closed and hike in average selling prices.

Oil company BP said Friday it will buy back $8 billion in shares after completing a landmark deal for TNK- BP.

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