NEW YORK — U.S. stocks moved broadly higher in midday trading on Wall Street Thursday as technology stocks offset declines in the banking sector.
Apple rose 3.6 percent as it continues to announce new products and chipmakers gained after Micron issued a strong outlook for the year. Olive Garden owner Darden Restaurants soared 6.3 percent after reporting earnings that were far better than analysts were expecting.
Biogen, a major biotechnology company, took a 29 percent nosedive after stopping a trial for an Alzheimer’s drug. Other health care stocks also fell. JPMorgan led a decline in banks with a loss of 1.8 percent.
Bond prices continued to rise, sending yields lower, a day after the Federal Reserve said it expected the economy to slow down and that it no longer expected to raise interest rates this year.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 160 points, or 0.6 percent, to 25,910 as of 11:10 a.m. The S&P 500 index rose 0.7 percent and the Nasdaq composite rose 1 percent.
BIOGEN BOMBS: The biotechnology giant plunged after the company halted development of a highly anticipated Alzheimer’s drug. The company and its partner determined that the drug would likely be ineffective.
The company lost more than $17 billion in market value.
Like its peers, the drugmaker spends heavily on research and development in the hopes that revenue from a successful drug will make up for the costs.
GUESS NOT: Clothing retailer Guess gave investors a disappointing fourth-quarter report and forecast, sending shares 14 percent lower.
The company’s fourth-quarter profit and revenue both came up short of forecasts. Its profit forecast for the year also fell far shy of Wall Street’s expectations.
CARBOLOAD: Olive Garden owner Darden Restaurants surged after the company blew past Wall Street’s quarterly profit forecast and raised its own profit forecast for the year.
The company also operates LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille and Eddie V’s. Olive Garden was the star of the quarter, with a key sales measure jumped 4.3 percent as more customers sat down for the restaurant’s pasta and bread.
MEMORY RECOVERY: Micron surged 9 percent after the chipmaker beat Wall Street’s forecasts for the fourth quarter and said it expects the memory chip market to recover in the second half of the year.
The company’s chips are used in phones and other technology. Chipmakers have been struggling as a global economic slowdown cuts into product sales.
The upbeat forecast by Micron helped lift some of its peers. Nvidia rose 3.1 percent and Advanced Micro Devices rose 4.6 percent.
RIVETING IPO: Levi Strauss surged as its IPO hit the market for the second time the brand’s 166-year history.
The stock opened at $22.22, up 31 percent from its offering price of $17. The stock is listed under the ticker “LEVI.”
The company previously went public in 1971, but the namesake founder’s descendants took it private again in 1985.