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US stocks sharply higher; European markets also rally

Stocks are moving sharply higher on Friday following a rally in Europe and an upturn in crude oil prices. All 10 industry sectors of the Standard and Poor’s 500 index rose, led by energy company shares. Anadarko Petroleum rose 7 percent and Devon Energy gained 9 percent.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 183 points, or 1.1 percent, to 17,178 as of 11:03 a.m. Eastern time. The S&P 500 gained 24 points, or 1.2 percent, to 2,013. The Nasdaq composite climbed 61 points, or 1.3 percent, to 4,723.

BOTTOM FOR OIL? U.S. crude added 68 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $38.52 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after the International Energy Agency said “there are signs that prices might have bottomed out.” U.S. crude has risen 47 percent from a 13-year low of $26.21 exactly one month ago. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, gained four cents to $40.09 a barrel.

MAKE IT FOUR: The S&P 500 is heading toward its fourth weekly gain in a row. The index is up 9 percent from this year’s low on Feb. 11.

THE QUOTE: It’s been a “terrific four-week run,” said Chief Equity Strategist Phil Orlando of Federated Investors, but that makes him a “little nervous.” Among his worries are a steeper China slowdown, a U.S. dollar strengthening even more and hurting U.S. exports, no relief from the corporate profits drop over the last year and more surprises in the presidential election. “Don’t discount the fiscal policy uncertainty of the election,” he warned.

EUROPE JUMPS: European markets rose sharply as investors hoped that the European Central Bank’s latest blast of stimulus policies would help revive the region’s economy. Germany’s DAX gained 3.3 percent, France’s CAC 40 advanced 3.1 percent and Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 1.7 percent. Shares in banks, which will be supported by the ECB loans, were among the biggest gainers.

SECOND THOUGHTS: Stocks had fallen on comments by ECB chief Mario Draghi on Thursday that underscored the weakness of the 19-country eurozone economy and the desperation of monetary authorities to act. The ECB moves included three interest rate cuts, loans to banks, and an expansion to a bond-buying stimulus program.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.5 percent. South Korea’s Kospi edged up 0.1 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 1.1 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 113.53 yen from 113.11 yen while the euro fell to $1.1158 from $1.1196.

BONDS: U.S. government bonds fell, pushing their yields higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.96 percent from 1.93 percent late Thursday.


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