U.S. Stocks Gain, Rebounding After Weeks of Losses

NEW YORK (AP) -

U.S. stocks bounced back on Monday after losing ground for three weeks as the dollar’s rally against the euro abated.

Elsewhere in financial markets, oil closed at a six-year low, below $44 a barrel, as supplies continue to outpace demand. Treasurys gained after some mixed reports on the economy.

The stock market has stumbled in recent weeks as the dollar has surged against the euro. The U.S. currency has been rising on expectations that the Federal Reserve will start to raise interest rates even as the European Central Bank continues to provide stimulus to that region’s economy.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 27.79 points, or 1.4 percent, to 2,081.19.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 228.11 points, or 1.3 percent, to 17,977.42. The Nasdaq composite jumped 57.75 points, or 1.2 percent, to 4,929.51.

The focal point this week for investors is the Fed’s two-day policy meeting that starts on Tuesday. Many investors and analysts expect the U.S. central bank will signal in a statement after the meeting that they are considering raising interest rates later this year. The Fed has kept its benchmark lending rate near zero for more than six years, underpinning a strong rally in U.S. stocks.

Stocks rose broadly on Monday. Nine of the 10 industry groups that make up the S&P 500 index rose.

U.S. industrial production edged up slightly in February as a big surge by utilities due to a cold winter offset a third straight decline in factory output. The Federal Reserve also reported that industrial production rose 0.1 percent in February following a 0.3 percent fall in January.

Another report showed that U.S. homebuilders are feeling slightly less confident in their sales prospects, even as their overall sales outlook remains favorable. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index slipped this month to 53, down two points from February. It’s the third monthly decline in a row.

The economic data gave a lift to bond prices, pushing Treasury yields lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note dropped to 2.08 percent from 2.12 percent on Friday.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 96 cents to close at $43.88 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell $1.23 to close at $53.44 in London.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX rose 2.2 percent to 12,167, the first time the index has closed above 12,000. France’s CAC 40 rose 1 percent to 5,061, while Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.9 percent to 6,804. European stocks have surged this year after the European Central Bank announced that it would introduce more stimulus to revive the region’s slumping economy.

In currency trading, the euro strengthened to $1.0575 from $1.0497 Friday. The U.S. currency has surged against the euro in this year. The dollar was little changed against the Japanese currency at 121.40 yen.

Precious and industrial metals futures edged higher. Gold rose 80 cents to $1,153.20 an ounce, silver rose 12 cents to $15.62 an ounce and copper inched up less than a penny to $2.67 a pound.

In other futures trading on the NYMEX:

  • Wholesale gasoline fell 3.3 cents to close at $1.729 a gallon.
  • Heating oil fell 1.4 cents to close at $1.699 a gallon.
  • Natural gas fell 1.1 cents to close at $2.716 per 1,000 cubic feet.