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Markets Right Now: Stocks close higher on Wall Street

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The latest on developments in global financial markets (all times local):

4:00 p.m.

U.S. stocks closed higher in their best week since early March after the Commerce Department said economic growth was stronger than initially thought in the first quarter.

Financial stocks rose the most Friday after Fed Chair Janet Yellen confirmed the central bank intends to keep raising interest rates if the economy keeps improving.

In deal news Valeant Pharmaceuticals rose more than 5 per cent after the Wall Street Journal said it had rejected an overture earlier this year from Japan’s Takeda and private equity firm TPG Capital.

The price of benchmark crude fell 0.3 per cent to $49.33 in New York.

The Dow rose 45 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 17,873. The Standard and Poor’s 500 index was up 9 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 2,099. The Nasdaq composite climbed 32 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 4,934.

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11:45 a.m.

U.S. stocks are closing in on their best week since early March after the Commerce Department said economic growth was stronger than initially thought in the first quarter.

Health care stocks rose the most Friday. Ulta Salon jumped nearly 10 per cent on strong first-quarter results.

In deal news Valeant Pharmaceuticals rose almost 8 per cent after the Wall Street Journal said it had rejected an overture earlier this year from Japan’s Takeda and private equity firm TPG Capital.

The price of benchmark crude fell 0.2 per cent to $49.39 in New York.

The Dow was up 35 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 17,865. The Standard and Poor’s 500 index was up 6 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 2,096. The Nasdaq composite climbed 25 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 4,927.

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9:40 a.m.

Stocks are trading slightly higher at the opening on Wall Street as investors welcome a report suggesting economic growth was stronger than expected in the first quarter.

Consumer stocks rose the most Friday. Ulta Salon jumped nearly 10 per cent on strong first-quarter results.

In deal news machinery maker Terex plunged 19 per cent after Chinese rival Zoomlion abandoned its months-old takeover attempt.

The price of benchmark crude fell1 per cent to $48.90 in New York.

The Dow was up 30 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 17,857. The Standard and Poor’s 500 index was up 4 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 2,095. The Nasdaq composite climbed 13 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 4,914.