April 8th, 2010
07:03 PM ET

Stocks rise, oil prices plummet

A look at highlights from the day's business news:

Stocks rise on consumer hopes

Stocks gained Thursday as upbeat sales reports from the nation's retailers helped provide optimism about the economic outlook, taking the edge off worries about Greece and other euro zone debt issues.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 49 points, or 0.5 percent. The S&P 500 index gained 6 points or 0.2 percent. The Nasdaq composite gained 4 points or 0.2 percent.

Stocks fell in the morning, but managed to erase those losses and edge higher in the afternoon, led by financial shares including American Express, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs. The KBW Bank index added 1.2 percent. Retail shares gained as well.

Dollar gives up gains as Greece jitters ease

The dollar gave up earlier gains versus the euro Thursday after the European Central Bank eased market fears that Greece would default on its debt.

What prices are doing: The dollar fell 0.7 percent versus the euro to $1.3352. It also slipped 0.2 percent against the U.K. pound to $1.5268. The greenback edged up slightly against the Japanese yen at ¥93.39.

What's moving the market: The euro gained ground after European Central Bank president Jean Claude Trichet said Greece's debt is no longer a concern. Default "is not an issue," he said.

Oil prices plummet after jobless claims

Oil prices fell Thursday for the second straight day amid growing concerns over demand and fiscal stability in Europe.

What prices are doing: Crude prices for May delivery fell $1 dollar to $84.89 a barrel. Prices reached $86.62 this week, flirting with near 18-month highs.

What's moving the market: Oil prices retreated, amid growing concerns over demand and a strengthening dollar.

Greece's bad news, good for U.S. Treasury auctions

Treasurys were little changed Thursday morning, holding firm after a rally the day before due to renewed concern about Greece's debt crisis. Investors are flocking back to safe-haven trades like U.S. debt, as the Treasury Department completes the last of four auctions totaling $82 billion this week.

What prices are doing: In midday trading, the benchmark 10-year note was flat at 98-2/32 with a yield of 3.85 percent. Earlier this week, prices on the 10-year note fell and investors saw a 4 percent yield - the first time the note had reached that level since October 2008, the height of the financial crisis.

Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions, so when prices drop, yields rise.

On Thursday, the 30-year bond was flat at 98-3/32 with a yield of 4.74 percent. The 2-year note inched up to 99-9/32 and yielded 1.04 percent. The 5-year note rose slightly to 99-6-32 and yielded 2.59 percent.

What's moving the market: The Treasury Department auctions $13 billion in 30-year bonds Thursday, following on a rally during the 10-year note auction the day before.

CNNMoney.com reporters Ben Rooney, Alexandra Twin, Annalyn Censky and Chavon Sutton contributed to this report.

Filed under: Economy
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