Wall St rallies as Fed rate hike jitters ease - New York Report

US STOCKS rallied yesterday as the greenback eased back from its recent peak and worries eased about the timing of a Federal Reserve interest rate hike.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 228.11 points, or 1.29 per cent, to 17,977.42, the S&P 500 gained 27.79 points, or 1.35 per cent, to 2,081.19 and the Nasdaq Composite added 57.75 points, or 1.19 per cent, to 4,929.51.

The Dow and S&P 500 had registered their third week of losses last week.

Energy shares also bounced, adding to gains late in the session despite further losses in oil prices. The S&P energy index was up 1.4 per cent, while US crude oil settled down 96 cents at $43.88 a barrel and earlier hit its lowest since March 2009.

Shares of Exxon Mobil were up 1.1 per cent at $84.76.

Salix Pharmaceuticals shares rose two per cent to $172.75 after it agreed to an increased $173 per share offer from Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Valeant shares were up 2.5 per cent at $202.34.

The biggest percentage decliner in the S&P 500 was Avon Products, which was down 5.7 per cent at $7.28 after S&P Dow Jones Indices announced late Friday the stock would be moved out of the S&P 500 this month.

The S&P healthcare sector led gains in the S&P 500.

It jumped 2.2 per cent, helped by a 5.7 per cent price increase in shares of Amgen to $163.03, following promising data in studies of a new class of cholesterol-reducing drugs.

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