U.S. stocks closed sharply higher with a rally in technology stocks sending the Nasdaq to a 15-year high. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Thursday's after hours earnings report included: CBS, owner of the most watched TV network, reporting better-than-expected earnings results including higher revenue thanks to its Thursday night football broadcasts. A winner and a loser in gaming: Candy Crush maker King Digital came in with an earnings and revenues beat, and announcing a stock buyback and special dividend. But game maker Zynga with a revenues miss, disappointing monthly active users, and lowering guidance. Major U.S. market indices closed sharply higher, with the Nasdaq hitting a new 15-year high on good news from abroad shrugging off disappointing domestic economic data. The ceasefire agreement between Russia and Ukraine and new stimulus measures from Sweden's central bank pushed the Dow, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq higher. New claims for jobless benefits rose more than expected last week. But consumers cut spending in January as retail sales edged up 0.1 percent, according to the Commerce Department. LIM College's Michael Londrigan: SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL LONDIGRAN, DEAN OF ACADEMIC AFFAIRS, LIM COLLEGE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think, they may be paying down debt. I think, you know, the normal household has accumulated a fair amount of debt over the past several years because of the economy, the recession, people still feeling some of that in the mid level, and I think they are paying it down." Expedia is buying rival Orbitz Worldwide for about $1.38 billion in cash. This is Expedia's third acquisition in four months as it tries to compete with its larger rival Priceline Group. Shares of both companies soared. Dow component American Express saw its shares move lower after Costco announced it will stop accepting American Express cards at its stores next April. European markets closed to the upside after hitting multi-year highs as investors reacted to the Ukraine peace deal, Swedish stimulus and optimism regarding a Greek debt deal.