US stocks rise on retail, oil and interest rates

June 12th, 2009 - 5:18 am ICT by IANS  

New York, June 12 (DPA) US stocks posted gains Thursday amid a drop in long-term borrowing costs, a rise in oil prices and improving US retail sales.
The stock gains sent the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to its highest level of 2009. The Dow Jones Industrial Average remains slightly down on the year.

The price of crude oil climbed above $73 per barrel for the first time in seven months after the International Energy Agency raised its forecasts for global demand.

The oil price eventually settled at $71.50, up nearly one percent on the day, spurring a rally in energy shares.

US retail sales climbed 0.5 percent in May over April, the first gain in three months, the Commerce Department said. The rise was in part due to bargain offers from US carmakers General Motors and Chrysler, who have been battling to shed dealerships and other assets through bankruptcy.

A decline in yields for long-term government debt also eased concerns that higher interest rates could temper the country’s already-slow economic recovery.

The blue-chip Dow was up 31.9 points, or 0.37 percent, to 8,770.92. The broader S&P 500 climbed 5.74 points, or 0.61 percent, to 944.89. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 9.29 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,862.37.

The dollar dropped against the euro to 70.86 euro cents from 71.54 euro cents Wednesday. The dollar also fell against the Japanese currency to 97.63 yen from 98.18 yen.

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