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U.S. stocks rose, following the biggest decrease in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index since August, as concern about Europe eased as S&P said it did not downgrade France’s debt and American jobless claims fell. Earlier today, stocks trimmed gains amid investors’ concern that France’s rating would be lowered.
Equities tumbled yesterday on concern that European leaders may be unable to keep the euro zone intact as Italian yields surged to a record. The decline erased the month-to-date advance in the S&P 500. The measure had the biggest monthly gain in 20 years in October on speculation Europe would contain its crisis.
Former vice president of the European Central Bank Lucas Papademos will head a national unity government for Greece, according to the country’s presidency. The ECB bought Italian government bonds today, according to three people familiar with the transactions, who declined to be identified. Italy sold 5 billion euros ($6.8 billion) of one-year bills, the maximum for the auction, and demand rose as the Treasury lured investors with the highest yield in 14 years.
Stocks also rose as data showed the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in seven months, a sign the recovery may be encouraging companies to limit cuts in headcount. The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in September to the lowest level this year as exports surged to a record high, another report showed.
Dow 11,889.74 +108.80 +0.92%, Nasdaq 2,625.69 +4.04 +0.15%, S&P 500 1,238.52 +9.42 +0.77%
Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO), a maker of networking equipment, climbed 6.3 percent as profit and sales beat estimates. Merck & Co. (MRK) jumped 3 percent after raising its dividend. Apple Inc. slumped 2.4 percent.
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