U.S. Stock Market Notches Biggest Gain in Eight Months; Oil Rises

NEW YORK (AP) -

The U.S. stock market rebounded from a nine-day losing streak Monday, posting its biggest gain in eight months and driving the Dow Jones industrial average up more than 370 points.

Financial stocks led the broad market rally, which erased more than half of the losses racked up by the Standard & Poor’s 500 index since October 25.

The gains came as investors mostly focused on the latest developments in the U.S. presidential race a day before the general election. The FBI announced Sunday that its review of newly discovered Hillary Clinton emails found no evidence warranting charges. That appeared to ease the market’s anxiety, which ratcheted up in recent weeks over signs the race was tightening, triggering the longest losing streak for the S&P 500 since 1980.

The Dow gained 371.32 points, or 2.1 percent, to 18,259.60. The average was briefly up as much as 375 points. The S&P 500 index rose 46.34 points, or 2.2 percent, to 2,131.52. Heading into Monday, the index had been down 66 points over the previous nine trading days. The Nasdaq composite index added 119.80 points, or 2.4 percent, to 5,166.17.

Banks and health care companies rose more than the rest of the market. Goldman Sachs and UnitedHealth Group had some of the biggest gains in the Dow. Goldman climbed $5.56, or 3.2 percent, to $181.48, while UnitedHealth added $4.22, or 3.1 percent, to $141.93.

Several pharmaceutical companies were also among Monday’s biggest gainers. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals gained $24, or 7 percent, to $365.39, while Biogen climbed $18.62, or 6.7 percent, to $295.62.

The VIX, a measure of how much volatility investors expect to see in the market over the next 30 days, slumped 16.9 percent Monday after surging 40 percent last week to its highest level since June, when Britain voted to leave the European Union.

The slide in the VIX reflected less anxiety among investors. Safe haven investments also slumped as investors felt comfortable taking on more risk. Bond prices fell, driving the yield on the 10-year Treasury note up to 1.83 percent from 1.78 percent late Friday. Utilities and phone stocks, two other havens investors seek when they expect turmoil, lagged the market.

Gold and silver also fell. The price of gold slid $25.10, or 1.9 percent, to $1,279.40 an ounce, while silver lost 22 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $18.15 an ounce. Copper bucked the trend, rising 5 cents, or 2 percent, to $2.31 a pound.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 gained 1.9 percent. Britain’s FTSE added 1.7 percent. Earlier in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 finished 1.6 percent higher, while South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.8 percent. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong added 0.7 percent.

The dollar mostly strengthened against other currencies. It rose to 104.58 yen from 103.13 on Friday, while the euro slipped to $1.1040 from $1.1117. The dollar slid 1.8 percent to 18.68 Mexican pesos from 19.03.

U.S. benchmark crude oil rose 82 cents, or 1.9 percent, to close at $44.89 a barrel in New York. The price of oil is coming off a six-day losing streak. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, gained 57 cents, or 1.3 percent, at $46.15 a barrel in London.

Other energy futures were mixed. Wholesale gasoline slipped a penny to $1.37 a gallon, while heating oil added a penny to $1.44 a gallon. Natural gas rose 5 cents to $2.82 per 1,000 cubic feet.