May 12th, 2010
09:01 PM ET

Stocks rally, dollar gains ground as oil prices slip

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

Stocks gain as European fears fade

Stocks rallied Wednesday, with the Dow logging triple-digit gains, as European debt noise faded and investors focused on an improving domestic economy and corporate earnings.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 149 points, or 1.4%, ending for
the first time above last Wednesday's close, before turmoil swept through the market, culminating in last Thursday's flash crash.

The S&P 500 index added 16 points, or 1.4%, and the Nasdaq composite rose 50 points, or 2.1%.

Tech and industrial stocks led the advance. Shares of Intel, IBM and Cisco Systems, which reported its best quarter even after the close, finished up more than 3%. Manufacturers Boeing, Caterpillar and Du Pont gained more than than 2%. 

"At these early stages of an economic recovery, those sectors should be
doing well on good days," said Paul Radeky, president of KDV Wealth Management, noting that investors are gaining confidence in riskier assets, such as stocks, because corporate earnings are coming in strong.

Oil slips on excess supply

Oil prices slipped Wednesday after a weekly supply report from the government's energy agency showed an increase in oil stockpiles.

Crude for June delivery slipped $1.06 or 1.4%, with oil settling at $75.65 a barrel Wednesday. Gasoline prices fell for the sixth day in a row, slipping to $2.896 a gallon from $2.901 the day before.

What's moving the market: A report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed crude supplies grew by 1.9 million barrels last week, slightly more than the 1.7 million analysts expected.

U.S. dollar reverses losses against euro

The dollar regained ground against the euro Wednesday in a thin trading day as investors remained skittish about European debt concerns. 

The dollar rose 0.3% against the euro to $1.2618, and 0.9% versus the pound to $1.4823.  The U.S. currency was up 0.5% against the Japanese yen at ¥93.14. 

The euro had gained earlier, after a report released early Wednesday showed the euro zone's gross domestic product grew 0.2% in the first quarter. This was in line with analysts' estimates. The pound lost ground amid political concerns over the Britain's leadership. Analysts believe the overseas concerns led investors to flee to the dollar, which is considered a safe-haven currency, according to Michael Woolfolk, senior currency strategist at Bank of New York Mellon.

Treasurys fall amid boosted confidence

Treasurys declined Wednesday as the euro zone showed signs of improvement and investors awaited the results of a $24 billion auction.

What prices are doing: The benchmark 10-year note fell 10/32 to 100-16/32 and yielded 3.57% from 3.53% on Tuesday. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

The 30-year bond was down 18/32 to 102-26/32 with a 4.46% yield. The
2-year note edged down 2/32 to 100-9/32 with a 0.87% yield. The 5-year note dropped to 101-2/32, yielding 2.28%.

Increased confidence in the market on Wednesday led investors away from the safety of government-backed bonds and into riskier assets like stocks. reporters Alexandra Twin, Julianne Pepitone, Blake Ellis and Annalyn Censky contributed to this report.

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