Shares of oil companies, miners lift US stocks

New York / AFP

Shares of oil companies and miners surged on Wednesday behind higher commodities prices as US stocks notched gains for the third straight session.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 257.42 points (1.59 percent) to 16,453.83.
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 31.24 (1.65 percent) to 1,926.82, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 98.11 (2.21 percent) at 4,534.06.
Sentiment was boosted by a 7.2 percent rise in the price of Brent crude after Iran met with other major producers to discuss limiting output.
Petroleum producers Chevron and ConocoPhillips jumped a respective 4.1 percent and 3.5 percent. Copper producer Freeport McMoRan surged 12.4 percent, while aluminum producer Alcoa gained 4.9 percent.
“It’s a great rally today,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank. “Looks like investors are certainly celebrating higher oil prices.”
Banking shares advanced, with Bank of America gaining 2.5 percent, Citigroup 2.3 percent and Morgan Stanley 2.2 percent.
Growth-oriented technology stocks had a good day, with Amazon climbing 2.5 percent, Facebook 3.5 percent and Netflix 6.4 percent.
Priceline surged 11.2 percent as fourth-quarter net income rose 11.6 percent to $504.3 million behind a 13 percent jump in gross travel bookings. It projected strong growth in the first quarter of 2016 for key benchmarks, with revenue expected to increase nine-16 percent.
Devon Energy lost 4.4 percent after slashing its dividend by 75 percent and announcing it was cutting its 2016 exploration and production spending by 75 percent.
Apple rose 1.5 percent as it rejected a court order to help the FBI break into an iPhone used by one of the shooters in the December rampage that killed 14 people in
Fossil Group, which makes sunglasses and other accessories, soared 28.6 percent as it projected 2016 net earnings of $2.80-$3.69 per share, compared with analyst expectations for $3.18 per share.

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