Friday, 15 June 2012 - 23:41
US Stocks Rally; DJIA Has Second Straight Triple-Digit Gain
--Stocks gain as central banks stand ready to act if needed; DJIA adds 115
--DJIA nets first back-to-back triple-digit rise since November
--DJIA ends with first back-to-back weekly gains since April
--N.Y. manufacturing, U.S. industrial production and consumer sentiment data miss expectations
By Chris Dieterich
NEW YORK--Energy stocks led the U.S. market rally as rising optimism that the world's central bankers are primed to stabilize financial markets boosted stocks for a second day.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 115.26 points, or 0.9%, to 12767.17 to close near Friday's session highs. Blue chips posted their first back-to-back triple-digit gains since November, on the heels of Thursday's 155-point advance.
The two-session jump caps a turbulent week for stocks, which three times finished sharply higher, twice strongly lower. Through the turmoil, the Dow's managed a 1.7% weekly rise to net consecutive weekly gains for the first time since April.
Concerns about rising borrowing costs in Spain and Italy have stoked volatile trading in recent weeks, as investors looked ahead to elections in Greece that could determine the country's future in the euro zone.
The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index advanced 13.74 points, or 1%, to 1342.84, as energy and technology stocks led all 10 of the benchmark's sectors higher. The Nasdaq composite added 36.47 points, or 1.3%, to 2872.80.
Bank of America jumped 3.1% to notch the biggest gains on the Dow. Chevron added 2.4%, while Microsoft advanced 1.8%.
Facebook rose 6.1%, the biggest single-session gain for the social network since the company's public offering last month.
In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 1% on Friday, pulling the benchmark into positive territory for the week. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi suggested the central bank is ready to act to ease monetary conditions. The Bank of England unveiled measures to flood its banking system with liquidity to calm markets.
Greek stocks rallied for a second session ahead of the country's closely watched parliamentary elections on Sunday, with the benchmark ASE index gaining 1.9% on Friday to finish up 14% for the week.
Asian markets were also mostly higher, with China's Shanghai Composite gaining 0.5% and Japan's Nikkei Stock Average inching up less than 0.1%.
"It is encouraging to the extent that central bankers have their antennae up," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.
Investors will watch closely the Federal Reserve's policy-setting committee next week for hints that additional stimulus measures could be on the way.
Stocks rallied on Friday even as data showed consumers felt less upbeat about the economy at the start of this month than in May. Elsewhere, manufacturing activity in the New York area slowed sharply in June, while a separate report showed U.S. industrial production fell in May.
"Bad data is, in some perverse way, good for the market. With bad economic data, people are hoping it's going to force the Fed's hand," said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital.
Crude-oil futures fell 0.1% to settle at $84.03 a barrel, while gold futures added 0.5% to settle at $1627.00 a troy ounce. The U.S. dollar fell against the euro and the yen. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to 1.588%.
In other corporate news, shares of American International Group rose after the insurer said it has reduced outstanding support from the U.S. government by more than $152 billion. About $30 billion of common stock remains owned by the U.S. Treasury.
IntercontinentalExchange jumped 4.7% and led the S&P 500's gains after Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing won the bidding process to buy the London Metal Exchange. Analysts said shares were likely to benefit as investors shift their attention to the potential for the company to return cash to shareholders.
Navistar jumped 7.6% after MHR Fund Management, run by Mark Rachesky, a former protege of activist investor Carl Icahn, acquired a 13.6% stake in the company. Mr. Rachesky said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that he invested in Navistar because he considers share to be undervalued, and that he intends to engage in talks with executives.
-Write to Chris Dieterich at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 15, 2012 16:41 ET (20:41 GMT)
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