US stocks rally on Greek debt deal hopes - New York Report

ALATE afternoon rally left the Wall Street indices in better shape yesterday, all driven by hopes for a Greek debt deal and as energy shares bounced with oil prices.

Greece’s new government has proposed ending a standoff with its “troika” creditors by swapping its outstanding debt for new growth-linked bonds, finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said yesterday.

Adding to the day’s advance were energy shares, with the S&P 500 energy sector ending up three per cent. US crude settled up 2.8 per cent at $49.57 a barrel, despite a strike at US refineries that could boost crude supply.

The sharp move higher came late in a session where the S&P 500 repeatedly moved between positive and negative territory.

“Markets are finding some comfort in the fact there is a dialogue that has the potential to lead to something other than a Grexit. That is a constructive narrative for equity markets, not just in the US but globally,” said Peter Kenny, chief market strategist at Clearpool Group in New York. “Grexit” refers to the possibility of Greece exiting the Eurozone.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 196.09 points, or 1.14 per cent, to 17,361.04, the S&P 500 gained 25.86 points, or 1.3 per cent, to 2,020.85 and the Nasdaq added 41.45 points, or 0.89 per cent, to 4,676.69.

The gains also follow the worst monthly performance for the indexes in a year.

Shares of Exxon Mobil were up 2.5 per cent at $89.58 after it reported a smaller-than-expected profit drop. The results follow disappointing earnings results from many firms.

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