In a nail-biting close, stocks on Wall Street ended a seven-day losing streak after a session in which the blue chip index rose as high as 170 points but gave up most of its gains in the afternoon.
Energy stocks provided the highlight among the risers. Oilfield-services company Baker Hughes rose 3% after agreeing to sell its Gulf of Mexico stimulation and sand-control business, which it was required to unload as a result of its purchase of BJ Services.
American depositary shares of BP rose 6.6% after it ended speculation that it was looking for a white knight investor by saying it won't sell shares to cover the costs of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which toward the end fluctuated between gains and losses, posted 57.45 point rise, or 0.6% to finish at 9743.93. Among the top performers were Alcoa, up 1.5%, and Microsoft, up 1.7%.
Among the decliners were Home Depot, off 1.9%, Boeing, down 1.7%, and Amex, down 1.2%.
The S&P 500 index closed 0.5% higher at 1027.57 and the Nasdaq was up 2093.88, or 0.1%.
Other markets: Europe, Asia up
European stocks closed sharply higher, with basic resources stocks leading the way. After five consecutive days closing in the red, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index reversed its fortunes with a gain of 2.6% to 242.76, its highest percentage and point gain since May 27.
The UK's FTSE 100 closed up 2.9% at 4965.0, moving ever closer to the psychologically important 5000-level. Germany's DAX gained 2.1% to 5940.98 and France's CAC-40 closed up 2.7% at 3423.36.
Asian markets ended higher as a strong rebound in Chinese shares from one-year lows helped push several markets higher, while hopes for upbeat corporate results helped lift Korean, Indian and Taiwanese stocks.
China's Shanghai Composite dropped as low as 2356.55, a level it hasn't seen since April 2009, before it reversed direction to end at 2409.42 for a gain of 1.9% over Monday's close.
Japan's Nikkei Stock Average added 0.8% to 9,338.04, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.3% to4276.09, Korea's Kospi climbed 0.6% to 1684.94 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced 1.2% to 20,084.12.
Taiwan's Taiex rose 1.5% to 7548.48, India's Sensex increased 1% to 17,614.48 and Singapore's Straits Times Index rose 1% 1915.54.
Commodities: Oil, gold down
Oil futures fell for the sixth session. Light, sweet crude for August delivery settled 16USc, or 0.2%, down at $US71.98 a barrel in New York after rising as high as $US73.86 a barrel in earlier trading. Brent crude on London's ICE settled 2USc lower at $US71.45.
Oil prices had initially risen after the Institute for Supply Management reported that its June non-manufacturing sector index slipped to 53.8, from 55.4 in May. The drop was more than economists had predicted, but wasn't the catastrophic decline that some investors had feared.
Gold futures dropped to their lowest levels in six weeks as US equities markets rose.
The most actively traded contract for August delivery settled $US12.60, or 1%, down at $US1195.10 an ounce in New York, the first time it has settled below $US1200 since May 24.
Currencies: Dollar down, euro up
The dollar fell broadly after disappointing US service-sector data added to a string of worse-than-expected economic indicators.
Those fears sent the dollar to its lowest level since May against a basket of its peers, while the euro hit a six-week high against the greenback.
These concerns contrasted with the cautiously optimistic tone taken by the Reserve Bank of Australia when it left key rates unchanged but noted global growth – particularly in Asia – is likely to support demand for commodities.
The commodity-backed dollar bloc, Australian Canadian and New Zealand, gained sharply against the greenback. The Australian dollar rose more than 1.5% on the day, while the greenback was down roughly 1.2% versus the Canadian currency.
The euro was at $US1.2642 from $US1.2550 late on Monday. The dollar was at ¥87.42 from ¥87.79, while the euro was at ¥110.51 from ¥110.17. The UK pound was at $US1.5166 from $US1.5197.
Wed, 07 Jul 2010