US stocks head for a fifth quarterly gain

March 31, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are moving higher as the market heads for a fifth straight quarterly gain.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 12 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,870 as of midday (1600 GMT). The index is up 1.2 percent for the first quarter of the year, which ends Monday.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 105 points, or 0.6 percent, to 16,427. The Nasdaq composite rose 47 points, or 1.2 percent, to 4,203.

Microsoft rose 3 percent, the most in the Dow, 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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