January 29, 2016 - 5:57 PM EST
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Dow Rallies on Japanese Surprise Cut

U.S. stocks rose about 2% Friday, the last trading day of January, after the Bank of Japan unexpectedly adopted a negative interest rate policy for the first time.

The Dow Jones industrial average skyrocketed 396.66 points, or 2.5%, to 16,466.30. Visa contributed the most to gains on the Dow, shooting more than 6.5% higher in afternoon trade. 3M and Microsoft were also among the top gainers.

The S&P 500 pointed up 45.4 points, or 2.4%, to 1,938.76, to trade within 10% of its 52-week intraday high, out of correction territory on an intraday basis. Information technology gained more than 3% to lead all 10 sectors higher.

The NASDAQ index bolted higher 107.28 points, or 2.4%, to 4,613.95, but underperformed as Amazon held about 8% lower, while Apple gained more than 3%.

As of late afternoon Friday, the major U.S. averages were on pace to end the week flat to slightly higher, but down 5.5% or more for the year so far.

Visa reported earnings one cent above estimates, although revenue missed slightly. The credit card issuer also affirmed its full year earnings forecast, surprising some analysts who had expected a cut.

Microsoft beat on both the top and bottom line, helped by improvement in its cloud services business as well as cost-cutting.

Amazon.com posted quarterly profit substantially below expectations. Revenue was slightly below forecasts as well, and the shares came under immediate pressure despite the highest-ever quarterly profit ever posted by the online retail giant.

Facebook extended Thursday's stellar gains to hit a record intraday high.

Consol surged more than 25% in early afternoon trade. The coal and natural gas producer reported on Friday an adjusted loss for the fourth quarter but said that its free cash flow would help the firm, as management put it, "ride out this volatile market."

In economic news, the advance read on the fourth-quarter showed U.S.GDP increased at a 0.7% annual rate, in-line with expectations but down sharply from the 2% rate in the third quarter. The economy grew 2.4% in 2015 after a similar expansion in 2014.

The employment cost index for the fourth quarter showed a rise of 0.6%, unchanged from the prior quarter.

Consumer sentiment came in at 92.0 for January, down slightly from December.

Stocks extended gains after the Chicago PMI showed 55.6 in January after coming in at 42.9 in December. Consumer sentiment came in at 92.0 for January.

Overnight, the Bank of Japan announced a negative interest rate policy. Global equities climbed after the Bank of Japan's surprise announcement, with the Nikkei reversing mild losses to close up 2.8%. The Shanghai composite closed 3.1% higher. European stocks traded about 1% higher late in Friday's session.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury gained, lowering yields to 1.93% from Thursday's 1.98%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gathered 39 cents a barrel to $33.61 U.S.

Gold prices moved ahead $1.69 to $1,117.02 U.S. an ounce.

Source: Livemoney (January 29, 2016 - 5:57 PM EST)

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