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Dow Rallies to Record High, While Apple Jumps on Deal News

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks rallied in the final hour of trading on Friday, boosting the Dow Jones Industrial Average to an all-time closing high.

The Dow gained 0.2% to 16,583.34, while the S&P 500 added 0.15% to 1,878.48. The Nasdaq closed up 0.5% to 4,071.87. The Dow for the week climbed 0.43%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq dropped 0.14% and 1.26%, respectively.

  • Wholesale inventories for March rose more than expected, up 1.1% after a 0.7% gain in February. There were 4 million job openings on the last business day of March -- little changed from 4.1 million in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday. The hires rate at 3.4% and separations rate of 3.2% were unchanged from the prior month.
  • On the corporate front, Apple (AAPL) shares were 0.41% lower as The Financial Times reported the company could make its largest acquisition ever with the planned $3.2 billion purchase of Beats Electronics, the headphone maker and streaming music operator founded by music producer Jimmy Iovine and hip-hop star Dr. Dre.
  • Symantec (SYMC - Get Report) gained 3.3% as its sales forecast beat predictions.
  • Gap (GPS) gained 3.3% after the clothing maker beat forecasts with profit of 56 cents to 57 cents a share in the quarter to April, exceeding the 53-cent average forecast of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
  • Ralph Lauren (RL) was 2.1% lower after saying it expects its fiscal 2015 operating margin to be 75 to 125 basis points lower from a year earlier due to continued investment in the company's global retail development and infrastructure, and increased advertising and marketing expense.
  • CBS (CBS) dipped 2.2% after first-quarter revenue missed expectations following a 12% decline in advertising sales.
  • In other stock news, Goldman Sachs (GS) was 0.13% lower. The bank said in a quarterly filing that it had attracted regulatory inquiries around high-frequency trading and whether its hiring practices were in line with U.S. antibribery laws.
  • Omnicom (OMC) ticked higher by 2.2% as the company and France's Publicis scrapped merger plans that would have created the world's largest advertising firm.
  • Tesla (TSLA - Get Report) shares were 2.1% higher despite reports that Missouri's state legislature could try to stop the electric carmaker from selling cars directly to customers.
  • European markets closed weaker Friday. Gains during the prior session had followed European Central Bank President Mario Draghi's suggestion the central bank could announce new easing measures soon. Tepid corporate results were weighing on stocks, with the FTSE 100 slipping 0.35% and the DAX down 0.27%. The Nikkei 225 in Japan finished up 0.25% while the Hong Kong Hang Seng closed up 0.12% as China consumer inflation slowed more than expected. Global markets will keep a close eye on Ukraine heading into the weekend as pro-Russian separatists vow to move forward with a referendum on Sunday to form their own republic even as Russia urges that the vote be postponed and fears of Victory Day violence spiked.

>>Read More:

Final Hour: Caution Ahead of Crucial Ukraine Vote

Gold Prices Steady as Weekend Ukraine Referendum Keeps Traders in a Holding Pattern

Tim Cook is a Stinking Genius if Apple Buys Beats

-- By Jane Searle, Andrea Tse and Joe Deaux in New York

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