U.S. stocks are higher Friday as energy prices continue to climb and boost energy companies. A global rally lifted stocks in Asia and Europe. After two days of gains, major indexes in the U.S. are set to rise for the first week in the last four.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average gained 156 points, or 1 percent, to 16,038 as of 1:15 p.m. Friday on Wall Street. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 31 points, or 1.5 percent, to 1,899. The Nasdaq composite climbed 96 points, or 2.1 percent, to 4,567. Despite a big loss on Wednesday, the S&P 500 is up 1 percent this week and the Nasdaq is up almost 2 percent.
ENERGY PRICES RISE: U.S. crude oil rose $2.07, or 7 percent, to $31.60 a barrel in New York. That’s its highest price in about two weeks. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, added $2.21, or 7.6 percent, to $31.46 a barrel in London. Oil had dropped to its lowest price in about 12 years, and just two days ago it fell almost 7 percent. Wholesale gasoline rose 4.6 percent to $1.08 a gallon and heating oil climbed 8.4 percent to 97 cents a gallon.
ENERGY STOCKS: Pipeline operator Kinder Morgan rose $1.55, or 11.2 percent, to $15.43 after it jumped 16 percent Thursday. Pipeline company Williams Cos. added $2.76, or 17.2 percent, to $18.80. Devon Energy gained $1.06, or 4.4 percent, to $25.24.
CHANGES FOR ENERGY: Goldman Sachs analyst Jeffrey Currie said energy prices have fallen so far that the industry is making real cuts in production. “We are now at a price level that is creating real fundamental change,” he said. Currie said it will take a long time for the market to recover from the huge decline in energy prices. But he said prices are down because of a supply glut, not because demand is collapsing. Low energy prices are good for many industries and consumers, but investors have gotten nervous that falling energy prices foretell a big slowdown in the global economy.
TECH STOCKS LOG ON: Big tech stocks rallied. Shares of Apple, which have lost about a quarter of their value in the last six months, rose $3.88, or 4 percent, to $100.18. Microsoft gained $1.66, or 3.3 percent, to $52.14 and Facebook added $3.19, or 3.4 percent, to $97.35.
GLOBAL GAINS: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 5.9 percent as investors hope the Bank of Japan will promise more stimulus for the country’s economy. The Nikkei had its day since September. Earlier this week the index entered a bear market, meaning it’s down 20 percent from its recent peak. South Korea’s Kospi gained 2.1 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 2.9 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China climbed 1.3 percent.
EUROSTEP: A rally in Europe got stronger as investors there hoped for more stimulus as well. On Friday European Central Bank head Mario Draghi said the bank has a lot of options to boost inflation and is determined and willing to act. On Thursday Draghi suggested the ECB will consider more stimulus action at its next meeting in March. France’s CAC 40 added 3.1 percent and Germany’s DAX rose 2 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 climbed 2.2 percent.
SOME RELIEF: Stocks have been pummeled in 2016 as investors worry about the global economy. The Dow and S&P 500 have never gotten off to a worse two-week start to a new year. A large sell-off Wednesday made the rout even worse, but stocks have recovered Thursday and Friday.
GREEN SHOOTS: Telecommunications and utilities stocks also rose Friday and turned positive for the year. The other eight industrial sectors in the S&P 500 are all much lower in 2016. The gains are small, but they represent a reversal from 2015, when the S&P 500 utility index fell 8 percent and telecom stocks fell 2 percent.
SCHLUMBERGER’s PLANS: The largest oilfield services company in the world said it cut 10,000 jobs in the fourth quarter after eliminating some 20,000 earlier in 2015. However Schlumberger said it will buy back $10 billion in stock. Its share price has fallen 25 percent over the last year. The stock rose $3.27, or 5.3 percent, to $64.72.
AMEX TUMBLES: Credit card company American Express said it wants to cut $1 billion in spending in the next two years in response to the strong dollar, which hurts its revenue, and tough competition. Its stock fell $7.75, or 12.4 percent, to$54.89.
GE STRUGGLES: General Electric’s fourth-quarter revenue fell short of analysts’ estimates. The company’s industrial division struggled. That has been an area of renewed focus for GE as it sells off financial businesses and its appliance unit. GE lost 49 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $28.10.
BONDS: U.S. government bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.06 percent from 2.03 percent a day earlier.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 118.52 yen from 117.50 on Thursday. The euro weakened on the prospect of further ECB stimulus. It fell to $1.0813 from $1.0875.