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  • Dow logs more than 200-point gain as Apple leads tech stocks higher

    U.S. stocks ended higher on Thursday as a sharp surge in tech shares helped to lift key equity benchmarks. The S&P 500 rose 1.1% to end near 2,855. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced around 218 points to end around 25,964, based on preliminary numbers. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.4% to finish around 7,839. Equities bounced back from early weakness on Thursday after the Federal Reserve's March meeting showed the central bank had trimmed its projections for interest rates this year from two to none. China's commerce ministry confirmed Thursday that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would visit China next week. In company news, shares of Apple Inc. climbed 4.2% after Needham rated the iPhone maker as a "strong buy."

    Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • Millions of Facebook, Instagram passwords exposed internally, company says

    Facebook Inc. said in a blog post Thursday that millions of users' passwords were stored in a readable format in its internal data storage systems. The company's login systems "are designed to mask passwords using techniques that make them unreadable," and Facebook has fixed the problem, it said. As a precaution, it will notify the users who had passwords stored that way. The passwords were never visible to anyone outside the company and there's no evidence so far that "anyone internally abused or improperly accessed them," Facebook said. It estimated it will notify hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of other Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users, it said. Shares of Facebook rose 0.5% in late trading Thursday, and have lost about 2% in the past 12 months, which contrasts with gains around 5% for the S&P 500 index.

    Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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US News

  • Floods threaten more states in rain-soaked U.S. Midwest
    As icy floodwaters fed by rains and melting snow receded in Nebraska and Iowa, leaving destroyed homes, drowned cattle and swamped farmland, Midwestern states downstream on Thursday braced for a relentless surge along the Missouri River, with more rain expected.
  • Missouri River towns face deluge as floods move downstream
    A string of small Missouri towns prepared for the next deluge along the raging Missouri River on Wednesday after flooding wreaked nearly $1.5 billion in damage in Nebraska, killing at least four people and leaving another man missing.

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