Investing.com - U.S. stocks opened higher on Friday, as equity markets recovered from the previous day''s losses due to news the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates as soon as next year.
During early U.S. trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.65%, the S&P 500 advanced 0.66%, while the Nasdaq Composite index gained 0.54%.
Markets were eyeing comments by a number of Fed officials later Friday, after Fed Chair Janet Yellen surprised markets mid-week by suggesting the possibility of raising interest rates as soon as next year.
U.S. equities found support after data on Thursday showed that U.S. initial jobless claims rose less-then-expected last week, while a separate report showed that manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia-region expanded at a faster rate than expected in March.
Earlier Friday, Fitch Ratings affirmed U.S. long-term foreign and local currency credit ratings at AAA with a stable outlook, taking the country off negative ratings watch.
Separately, the U.S. expanded sanctions to 20 more prominent Russians, including allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin, amid mounting tensions over Moscow''s annexation of Crimea.
Twitter climbed 0.52% despite news the company''s users in Turkey reported widespread outages on Friday, hours after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan threatened to shut down access to the social media platform as he battles a corruption scandal.
AT&T added to gains, up 1.03%, after saying it will start taking pre-orders on Friday for Samsung''s Galaxy S5, with the phone selling for $199 with a new two-year contract, or $649 unsubsidized.
On the downside, Symantec Corp. shares dove 11.36% following reports President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Bennett was fired after less than two years on the job.
In earnings news, Tiffany projected a fiscal-year profit beneath estimates, sending shares in the jewelry chain down 1.16%.
Darden Restaurants was up 0.45% after posting third-quarter revenue just below forecasts.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were higher. The EURO STOXX 50 rose 0.27%, France’s CAC 40 added 0.26%, Germany''s DAX gained 0.43%, while Britain''s FTSE 100 edged up 0.23%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong''s Hang Seng Index jumped 1.20%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index remained closed for a national holiday.
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