World markets: US stocks gain most in week this year
Stocks on Wall Street rose for the fourth day, adding to their biggest weekly gains of the year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 93.01 points, or 0.75%, to 12,553.97.
The four-day rally pushed stocks up 3.4% for the week, the biggest weekly advance since December.
The rally was due largely to hopes of more stimulus from central banks around the globe, which fuelled a nearly 287-point rally on Wednesday.
Wal-Mart Stores WMT +3.40% rose 3.4% to lead the Dow higher and hit a 12-year high.
The S&P 500 index added 0.8%, to 1325.61 with rises in all but one of its sectors, energy.
The Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.0% to 2858.42.
Investors were buoyed by reports that Spain could seek aid for its banks from the European Union at the weekend.
President Barack Obama urged the Europeans to inject capital into their banks to help stabilise the financial system as one of several specific steps the resolve the eurozone debt crisis.
Other markets: Spanish stocks rally, Asia falls
European stocks closed lower but the Spanish market rallied.
The IBEX 35 index jumped 1.8% to 6552.00 and 8.03% this week.
The Stoxx 600 Index closed 0.3% lower at 241.93, its best weekly performance since early February.
The UK's FTSE 100 fell 0.2% to 5435.08 but rose 3.32% for the week.
Germany's DAX was 0.2% lower at 6130.82 but up 1.3% for the week. France's CAC-40 fell 0.6% at 3051.69 but climbed 3.4% for the week.
Asian markets fell, with the Nikkei Stock Average erasing almost all of its gains from the last three days.
A China interest-rate cut raised concerns that Asia's biggest economy is slowing faster than previously expected.
The Nikkei Average fell 2.1% to 8459.26, eliminating much of the 4.2% gained over the previous three sessions.
Australia's ASX 200 closed down 1.1% at 4063.70, Hong Kong's Hang Seng finished 0.9% lower at 18,502.34, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.5% to 2281.45 and Korea's Kospi dropped 0.7% to 1835.64.
India's Sensex bucked the trend, rising 69.82 points, or 0.4%, to 16,718.87. The Sensex gained 4.7% this week, its biggest weekly gain this year.
Commodities: Oil down, gold up
Oil futures pushed lower for a second session after hopes were dashed that the US Federal Reserve would act soon to stimulate the economy.
Light, sweet crude for July delivery fell $US2.07, or 2.5%, to $US82.73 a barrel in New York. Brent crude on ICE Futures Europe dropped $US1.88, or 1.9%, to $US98.05 a barrel.
Gold futures edged higher, tracking the euro as the currency cut its losses on hopes for aid to Spain's banking system.
But the gains weren't enough to erase gold's declines for the week.
The most actively traded contract, for August delivery, rose $US3.40, or 0.2%, to settle at $US1591.40 an ounce in New York. During the week, gold futures fell 1.9%.
Currencies: US dollar rises
The US dollar received a safe-haven lift from concerns over global economic growth.
The euro eased to $US1.2478 from $US1.2561 late on Thursday. The dollar traded at ¥79.45 from ¥79.63.
The euro was at ¥99.150 from ¥99.99. The UK pound bought $US1.5425 compared with $US1.5528.
The dollar changed hands at 0.9624 Swiss franc from 0.9561 franc.