3/21/2016, 9:19 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Closing bell: American markets finish slightly higher

Stocks markets in the United States ended the day in the green territory, starting the sixth straight week of gains. While oil prices were steadily rising during the day, the attention of investors slowly turned towards Cuba. American businesses have started the race to assume positions by targeting initial demand in services as the Caribbean country's economy is expected to open up to bilateral cooperation at a faster pace.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.09% to 17,618 points. Nike held the winning post rising 2.44% for the day, Pfizer followed with gains of 2.19%, and Wal-Mart added 1.73%. Intel lost 1.18%, Chevron fell 1.31%, and Disney dropped 0.93%, while Goldman Sachs dropped 0.74%.

The S&P 500 index closed up 0.11% at 2,051 points. Malllinckrodt jumped 7.93%, and Starwood climbed 4.44% following the new offer from Marriot International hotels chain, which in turn lost 1.18%. Sherwin-Williams plunged 6.03%, the Williams Companies lost 5.08%, and Wyndham rolled down 4.65%.

The Nasdaq 100 index added 0.37% for the day to close at 4,426 points. Incyte Corporation jumped 5.44%, PayPal rose 4.39% following the news on plans to bring Xoom to Cuba, followed by Micron technology's gain of 3.50%. BioMarin held the losing all day, losing 3.40%. Endo International dropped 3.35%, and NetApp dipped 1.65%.

In Toronto, the benchmark S&P/TSX index closed 0.47% higher at 13,561 points. There were some healthy gains in the health care, utilities, telecom and IT sectors, while mining companies saw losses.

Oil prices seem to have settled above the $42 mark, with slow but firm rise for the day. The U.S. light sweet crude WTI for delivery May delivery traded 1.25% higher at $41.65 a barrel; the international benchmark Brent also for May delivery rose 0.98% to $41.60 a barrel at the ICE market by 9:00 p.m. CET (4:00 p.m. EST). The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries reported daily price of OPEC basket of 13 crudes at $36.59 a barrel on Friday.

The U.S. dollar was decidedly stronger, adding 0.25% compared to the euro, 0.69% versus the U.K. sterling, 0.32% against the Japanese yen and 0.63% against its Canadian counterpart by 9:09 p.m. CET (4:09 p.m. EST).

Image: Beta/AP

Breaking the News / ZR