Financial Markets: U.S. stocks rise as oil changes course again

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NEW YORK >> U.S. stocks closed sharply higher as the price of crude oil made another sudden turn, this time to the upside.

The price of oil surged almost 4 percent Tuesday, reversing a slump from the day before.

Chevron and Exxon Mobil each jumped 4 percent.

Consumer stocks gained after Procter & Gamble and Coach reported earnings that were better than analysts were expecting.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 282 points, or 1.8 percent, to 16,167.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 26 points, or 1.4 percent, to 1,903. The Nasdaq composite added 49 points, or 1.1 percent, to 4,567.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2 percent.

Energy stocks gained ground as the price of U.S. crude rose $1.10, or 3.7 percent, to close at $31.45 a barrel in New York. It fell almost 6 percent Monday. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, rose $1.30, or 4.3 percent, to $31.80 a barrel in London.

Exxon Mobil picked up $1.91, or 2.6 percent, to $75.89 and Chevron rose $2.48, or 3.1 percent, to $83.37.

Despite oil's gain today, it is down nearly 18 percent this month.

In the bag

Luxury handbag maker Coach reported a greater profit than analysts had expected, and its stock rose $3.18, or 10.5 percent, to $33.53. Even with that big gain, however, it's down 9 percent over the last 12 months.

Consumer goods maker Procter & Gamble reported a larger profit in the fourth quarter as it raised prices and cut costs. The maker of Pantene shampoo, Crest toothpaste and Charmin toilet paper added $2.11, or 2.7 percent, to $78.96.

Huntington Bancshares agreed to buy competitor FirstMerit Corp for $3.4 billion. The deal would create the largest bank in Ohio, and the companies would have about $100 billion in combined assets. FirstMerit added $2.74, or 17.8 percent, to $18.11 and Huntington lost 75 cents, or 8.5 percent, to $8.50.

The Dow is doing particularly well because many of the companies making the biggest gains, including Procter & Gamble, Exxon, Chevron and 3M are all Dow components. The Nasdaq is making smaller gains because tech stocks are little changed.

Full Sprint

Sprint, the fourth-largest wireless provider in the U.S., posted a smaller loss in its third quarter and said its aggressive promotions lured more users. The company raised its outlook for the year.

Sprint stock rose 54 cents, or 21.6 percent, to $3.07. The stock, which hit an all-time low last Wednesday, has been on a wild ride the last few days, jumping almost 15 percent Friday and then falling 12 percent Monday, when Sprint said it had cut about 2,500 jobs since last fall, or 8 percent of its staff.

Lockheed Martin said it will acquire the engineering company Leidos, and combine it with its information systems.


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