U.S. Stocks Surge as Investors Grow Hopeful About British Vote

Trader Tommy Kalikas works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Trader Tommy Kalikas works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Global stocks are climbing Monday as investors grow more hopeful that Britain will remain in the European Union. In the United States, consumer companies made the biggest gains, and energy companies rose along with the price of oil. Gold, bonds, and other safe-play investments like utilities stocks fell as investors became more willing to take on risk.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 189 points, or 1.1 percent, to 17,864 as of noon Eastern Time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 21 points, or 1 percent, to 2,091. The NASDAQ composite gained 68 points, or 1.4 percent, to 4,867. Stocks had fallen for six days out of the last seven.

BRITISH VOTE: The British pound rose sharply as the latest opinion polls and betting markets suggest it’s more likely Britain will stay in the European Union than leave when citizens vote on the issue Thursday. The pound jumped to $1.4677 from $1.4375. Many expect that a British departure from the economic union would hurt that country’s economy. Investors have worried about the outcome of the vote in recent weeks. The vote is expected to be close.

CONSUMER CLIMBERS: Consumer stocks rose as investors bet people will spend more on shopping and travel. Amazon gained $14.65, or 2.1 percent, to $721.04 while travel booking site Priceline added $43.49, or 3.3 percent, to $1,352.73 and Nike rose $1, or 1.9 percent, to $54.71.

HEAVY METAL: Machinery companies climbed. General Electric rose 48 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $31.00 while aerospace company Boeing added $3.78, or 2.9 percent, to $133.60 and Honeywell advanced $1.64, or 1.4 percent, to $117.56.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose $1.16, or 2.4 percent, to $49.14 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained $1.15, or 2.3 percent, to $50.32 a barrel in London. U.S. crude jumped almost 4 percent Friday to break a six-day losing streak.

Among energy stocks, Chevron rose $1.63, or 1.6 percent, to $103.20 and EOG Resources picked up $2.14, or 2.6 percent, to $83.03.

TECH GAINS: Software maker Adobe Systems, which will report its second-quarter results Tuesday, jumped $2.73, or 2.9 percent, to $98.31. E-commerce company eBay rose 89 cents, or 3.7 percent, to $24.68 while chipmaker Intel edged up 57 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $32.33.

BANKS BREAK OUT: Bond prices dropped as investors moved money out of ultra-safe assets. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 1.68 percent from 1.61 percent late Friday. That’s an encouraging sign for banks since bond yields are used to set interest rates on many kinds of loans including mortgages, and banks will be able to make more money from lending as rates increase.

Bank of America rose 20 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $13.60 and Wells Fargo, the nation’s biggest mortgage lender, rose 91 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $45.71.

SPECIAL DELIVERY: FedEx rose after the federal government moved to dismiss charges against the shipping company. Prosecutors had planned to charge FedEx with knowingly delivering illegal prescription drugs to dealers and addicts, but late Friday the government dropped the case. The trial was set to begin Monday. FedEx jumped $3.50, or 2.2 percent, to $165.75.

OVERSEAS: Britain’s FTSE 100 leaped 3 percent and France’s CAC 40 rose 3.5 percent. Germany’s DAX rocketed 3.4 percent higher. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index surged 2.3 percent. South Korea’s Kospi climbed 1.4 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.7 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 104.38 yen from 104.23 yen and the euro rose to $1.1310 from $1.1275.