Nike lifts US stocks as markets eye Greece talks

NEW YORK - Strong earnings from Nike helped lift US stocks in early trade Friday as markets eyed ongoing talks to avert a Greek debt default.

About 30 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 17,995.70, up 105.34 points (0.59 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 4.47 (0.21 per cent) to 2,106.78, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 5.68 (0.11 per cent) to 5,117.87.

Athletics footwear and apparel maker Nike jumped 4.5 per cent to lead the Dow as earnings for the quarter ending May 31 rose 21.6 per cent to $865 million.

Greece's international creditors offered Athens a five-month, 12-billion-euro ($13.4-billion) extension of its bailout programme but said it must seal a deal this weekend to avoid an IMF default next week.

Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 7.4 per cent, part of a big pullback the last two weeks in part due to concerns about market overvaluation.

But the turbulence in China has not spread, suggesting global investors "recognise the Shanghai Composite is operating in a crazy world of its own," said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare.

Chipmaker Micron Technology plummeted 16.7 per cent as third-quarter net income tumbled 39 per cent due to the hit from lower personal computer sales.

Other chip companies also fell, including Dow member Intel (-2.3 per cent) and SanDisk (-2.0 per cent).

Animal-health company Zoetis sank 8.4 per cent, giving back much of the gains from Thursday, when it surged 11.4 per cent following a Wall Street Journal that it received a takeover bid from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International. Valeant fell 1.9 per cent.

Air Products & Chemicals shares were unchanged after one of its plants in France was targeted in a suspected terrorist attack that left one person dead.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.46 per cent from 2.40 per cent Thursday, while the 30-year advanced to 3.21 per cent to 3.17 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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