Google Paces Stock Gains

Optimism about Google’s first-quarter results and comments from Federal Reserve officials that inflation appears contained boosted stocks on Tuesday.

Google gained nearly 4% to close back above $400 after investors decided that last week’s $2 billion stock offering meant the company was confident of its first-quarter numbers, because the company was willing to dilute earnings per share at the end of the quarter. Google will report earnings on April 20.

Google also gained on speculation that the company is looking at other media and may also enter the digital music business, which sent Apple shares lower by 2%.

The broader market gained after two Federal Reserve officials suggested that an end to rate hikes may be near.

The Nasdaq rose 8 to 2345, the S&P 500 gained 8 to 1306, and the Dow climbed 59 to 11,203. Volume declined to 2.15 billion shares on the NYSE, but rose to 2.08 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 18-13 on the NYSE, and 15-14 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 63% on the NYSE, and 49% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 206-50 on the NYSE, and 169-42 on the Nasdaq.

Computer Sciences gained 4% after putting itself up for sale.

CheckFree gained 8% on an upgrade.

Check Point lost 6% on a warning, and Catapult , Manhattan Associates and Powerwave fell on their outlooks.

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