NEW YORK REPORT
US stocks advanced yesterday on an uptick in corporate deal activity while the weak dollar led to gains in commodities, lifting shares of oil and mining companies.
Although Kraft’s stock fell nearly 6 per cent, other food companies rose, including Hershey, which added 1.3 per cent to $39.14.
The dollar fell to its lowest this year against the euro, pushing oil up 4.5 per cent and gold temporarily above $1,000 an ounce.
Chevron rose more than 2 per cent to $70.48, leading the Dow higher, and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold gained 3 per cent to $68.00. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 56.07 points, or 0.59 per cent, at 9,497.34. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 8.98 points, or 0.88 per cent, at 1,025.38. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 18.99 points, or 0.94 per cent, at 2,037.77.
Also in the oil sector, Exxon Mobil gained 2.1 per cent to $70.65. The S&P index of energy companies was up 2.6 per cent. And shares of General Electric advanced 4.5 per cent to $14.50 after JP Morgan upgraded the stock, saying it was one of the last equities for which a little good news could still go a long way.
Health insurance stocks slid 1.6 per cent before US President Barack Obama’s address to Congress on today.