Sturdy earnings reports, Greece hopes lift markets
By Sam Forgione
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Greek parliament's approval of a third bailout program for the debt-stricken country boosted world stock markets, with Wall Street also buoyed by robust corporate earnings, while the U.S. dollar rose on expectations of higher interest rates.
Strong quarterly reports from Netflix (NFLX.O: Quote) and eBay (EBAY.O: Quote) helped push the Nasdaq to a record closing high, while European markets cheered news that the European Central Bank was pressing ahead with its economic stimulus program, had agreed to more funding for Greek banks, and promised further action if needed.
European shares hit a more than six-week high after the parliament in Athens approved austerity measures demanded by its lenders to open talks on the new bailout.
While the political climate in Greece remained fragile, investors were willing to give a cautious thumbs-up to the Greek parliament's approval of the bailout plan.
"The parliamentary approval boosted prices today," said Clem Miller, portfolio manager at Wilmington International Funds in Baltimore, Maryland. "There was optimism about the European Central Bank providing more liquidity to Greece, but there is significant ongoing caution about Greek implementation risk."
MSCI's all-country world equity index .MIWD00000PUS, which tracks shares in 45 nations, was last up 0.69 percent at 431.97.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI closed up 0.39 percent at 18,120.25. The S&P 500 closed up 0.80 percent at 2,124.29, near a record high. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC closed up 1.26 percent at 5,163.184.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 of top regional shares closed up 1.4 percent at 1,608.71, near a more than six-week high of 1,613.61 hit earlier. Continued...