U.S. Stocks Steady, European Stocks Shed Losses to Turn Higher

U.S. stocks traded firmly in green territory by midday trade on Friday as concerns over Cyprus’s debt crisis eased significantly after Cypriot Parliament called an emergency meeting on Friday. The meeting is apparently aimed at reaching a bailout deal with the EU before the deadline ends on Monday.

The news also overshadowed weak German business sentiment data with most European indexes turning into green territory.

At last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index gained 0.56%; the NASDAQ Composite Index edged up 0.41% while the S&P 500 Index advanced 0.58%

Shares of Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) gained about 2% by midday trading after the upscale jewelry retailer posted better than expected fiscal fourth quarter results. The New York based Company also provided strong sales and earnings guidance for the current fiscal year. For the recently concluded quarter, sales were particularly robust in Asia while Europe also showed a reasonable revenue growth in spite of macroeconomic weakness.

Shares of Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI) edged up after the company’s quarterly results came in-line with downwardly revised Wall Street’s forecast as Americans remained reluctant to spend on discretionary items after increase in payroll taxes and jump in gasoline prices.

Shares of Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) climbed about 2.40% by midday trade after the social game maker announced late last evening that it has re-launched its own website Zynga.com, which would allow players to directly sign in to its games without logging onto Facebook (NASDAQ: FB).

In Germany, the Ifo Index, a measure on business confidence fell unexpectedly in March. This was the first drop in last five months.

edliston

edliston

Ed Liston is a senior contributing editor at TheStockMarketWatch.com. An active market watcher and investor, Ed guides an independent team of experienced analysts and writes for multiple stock trader publications. He is widely quoted in various financial publications on the Internet. When Ed is not writing about stocks, investing in stocks, talking about stocks, or otherwise doing something stock related, he likes to go sailing and fishing in his yacht.