US stocks rise as oil price rise helps energy firms

October 24th, 2008 - 5:30 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Oct 24 (DPA) Most US stock indices closed higher Thursday, led by an increase in oil prices that helped energy firms, and overshadowing more depressing news from the US housing market.The rally was part of another volatile trading day and followed significant stock losses earlier this week, fuelled by ongoing fears of a global recession. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index hit its lowest level in more than five years Wednesday but rebounded more than 1 percent on Thursday.

Energy companies led stocks rise as crude oil climbed 1.6 percent to $67.84 per barrel in New York. Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp both gained more than 8 percent.

The stock rise bucked the trend in both Asia and Europe, which posted losses on disappointing company earnings.

Wall Street had started the day sharply lower, after data firm RealtyTrac reported home foreclosures climbed to 765,558 in the third quarter, up 3 percent from the second quarter and 71 percent from the year earlier period. Financial firms and construction companies fell on the day.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 172.04 points, or 2.02 percent, to 8,691.25. The broader based S&P 500 was up 11.33 points, or 1.26 percent, to 908.11. But the high-tech Nasdaq Composite Index lost 11.84 points, or 0.73 percent, to 1,603.91.

On currency markets, the dollar fell against the euro to 77.37 euro cents from 77.77 euro cents Wednesday - its highest level in two years. The US currency also dropped against the Japanese yen to 97.26 yen from 97.87 yen on Wednesday.

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