Stocks end sharply higher as Dow notches best day in three weeks

U.S. stocks closed sharply higher on Friday led by gains in technology stocks that propelled the Nasdaq to weekly gains. The S&P 500 rose 34 points, or 1.2%, to 2,663. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 332 points, or 1.3%, to 24,262. The Nasdaq Composite Index picked up 122 points, or 1.6%, to 7,210. The Dow notched its best daily performance in three weeks. For the week, the Dow was down 0.2%, the S&P was down 0.3% and the Nasdaq was up by 1.2%. Tech stocks were pushed higher by Apple Inc. after reports that Berkshire Hathaway had bought 75 million shares of the iPhone manufacturer in the first quarter. Equities may have also rallied after the unemployment rate slipped to 3.9% from 4.1%, the lowest since 2000.