U.S. Stocks Rise as Oil Prices Jump Again; Tech Climbs

NEW YORK (AP) -
1 Stocks

U.S. stocks rose Thursday as the price of oil climbed for the third day in a row on hopes that major oil exporters would cut production. Tech stocks traded higher, led by Facebook and PayPal, while drugmakers fell.

Facebook made its biggest leap in two and a half years after it said its profit more than doubled in the fourth quarter. Energy prices and companies rose after the Kremlin said it is discussing the state of the oil markets with Saudi Arabia and OPEC. Investors hope that talks between two of the three biggest oil producers in the world could lead to production cuts that would begin to alleviate a global supply glut.

The& Dow& Jones industrial average climbed 125.18 points, or 0.8 percent, to 16,069.64. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index picked up 10.41 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,893.36. The Nasdaq composite index rose 38.51 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4,506.68.

Stocks switched between small gains and losses throughout the morning. In the afternoon they gradually traded higher, but never went as high as they did at the very beginning of the day.

U.S. crude rose 92 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $33.22 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, gained 79 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $33.89.

The price of U.S. oil has climbed 9.5 percent over the last three days as investors hope production will be reduced, which would strengthen the fuel’s price.

Amazon reported disappointing fourth-quarter results after the market closed, and its shares tumbled 14 percent in aftermarket trading.

E-commerce site eBay took its worst one-day loss in seven years after its guidance for the current quarter and the year disappointed investors. The stock lost $3.29, or 12.5 percent, to $23.13. EBay’s former payment unit PayPal reported strong results and added $2.65, or 8.4 percent, to $34.24. That was the best result for PayPal since the company was spun off from eBay in July.

Drug stocks tumbled, and the biggest losses went to companies that make complex, costly drugs. Cancer drug maker Celgene lost $5.10, or 5 percent, to $97.21 after its 2016 estimates disappointed investors.

Quarterly earnings aided or pressured a wide variety of stocks. Construction and mining equipment maker Caterpillar reported better-than-expected results even though the company is struggling with lower commodity prices and a weakening global economy. It rose $2.76, or 4.7 percent, to $61.08.

Overseas markets struggled after the Federal Reserve made cautious comments about the state of the global markets and growth in the U.S. Germany’s DAX fell 2.4 percent and France’s CAC-40 gave up 1.3 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares lost 1 percent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index gave up early gains to end 0.7 percent lower.

The price of gold declined 20 cents to $1,115.60 an ounce. Silver fell 22.7 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $14.232 an ounce. Copper lost 1.3 cents to $2.052 a pound.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline rose 3.3 cents to $1.079 a gallon. Heating oil rose 0.6 cents to $1.031 a gallon. Natural gas rose 2.5 cents to $2.182 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note sipped to 1.98 percent from 2 percent. The euro rose to $1.0955 from $1.0907. The dollar rose to 118.78 yen from 118.64 yen.