US stocks rise, closing out a meagre gain for the first quarter; Microsoft gains

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NEW YORK, N.Y. – U.S. stocks are closing higher as the market posts a meagre gain for the first three months of the year.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 14 points, or 0.8 per cent, to close at 1,872 Monday. The index gained 1.3 per cent for the first quarter of the year, the fifth straight quarterly gain.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 134 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 16,457. The Nasdaq composite rose 43 points, or 1 per cent, to 4,199.

Microsoft rose 2 per cent after its Office for iPad software was released last week to highly positive reviews.

Traders were encouraged by remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who said she thinks the U.S. job market should continue to be supported by low interest rates for some time.

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