July 1st , 2013 10:09 am Leave a comment

US stocks open higher, led by health care, banks

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rose in early trading on Wall Street Monday, led by gains in health care and financial companies.

U.S. stocks followed global markets higher. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.3 percent, boosted by signs of improvement in Japan’s economy. In Europe, stock indexes rose after a mixed set of economic indicators for the region. While unemployment in the 17 countries that use the euro rose to another record high in May, a separate report showed an improvement in manufacturing in Britain, France and Italy and stabilization in Spain.

The Dow Jones gained 156 points, or 1 percent, to 15,065 as of 10:02 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 18 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,624.

Among bank stocks making big moves, JPMorgan rose 69 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $53.50 and Bank of America gained 13 cents, or 1 percent, to $12.99.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index logged its first monthly decline since October last month after investors were unsettled by comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Bernanke said in late May that the Fed planned to ease back on its stimulus this year and end it next year, providing the economy continues to recover.

The Fed is currently buying $85 billion of bonds a month to keep interest rates low and help encourage borrowing and spending. That stimulus has been a major factor supporting a rally in stocks this year. Despite last month’s loss, the S&P 500 is still up 13.7 percent this year.

In other trading, the Nasdaq composite rose 42 points, or 1.2 percent, to 3,445.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbed to 2.51 percent from 2.49 percent Friday. The note’s yield surged to 2.66 percent last Monday as investors worried that the Fed was poised to ease back on its bond purchases. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note is used to set interest rates on many kinds of loans including home mortgages.

In commodities trading, the price of oil climbed $1.28, or 1.3 percent, to $97.83 a barrel. Gold rose $15.20, or 1.2 percent, to $1,238 an ounce.

Trading will be curtailed this week due to the Independence Day holiday Thursday. The New York Stock Exchange will close at 1 p.m. on Wednesday and reopen on Friday.

The dollar edged lower against the euro and rose against the Japanese yen.

Among stocks making big moves:

— Onyx Pharmaceuticals surged $44.31, or 51 percent, to $131 after the company rejected a takeover bid from Amgen. Onyx said other companies have expressed interest in a buyout.

— Cablevision rose 90 cents, or 5.2 percent, to $17.71 after Reuters reported that Time Warner Cable is considering making a bid for the company.

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