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U.S. stocks move higher, led by tech companies

Trader George Baskinger, center, works on the floor

Trader George Baskinger, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Stocks closed up, adding to gains from the day before. Credit: AP / Richard Drew

U.S. stocks rose Wednesday as technology companies traded higher for the second day in a row and consumer companies gained steam as cruise lines rose. The beleaguered financial sector recovered some of its losses from earlier this year.

Stocks started the day sharply higher, following a jump in European markets, although they returned some of those gains as the day wore on. Oil prices followed the same pattern and finished a few cents higher. Cruise lines rose after Carnival posted strong first-quarter results, and the dollar weakened further. Stocks are up about 7 percent this month, part of a rally that has canceled out their losses from a disastrous start to the year.

“The Fed really cured a lot of global ills” by deciding to go slower in raising interest rates, said John Cannally, chief economic strategist for LPL Financial. The Federal Reserve announced that decision two weeks ago, and Fed Chair Janet Yellen emphasized it again in a speech Tuesday.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 83.55 points to 17,716.66. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 0.44 percent, closing at 2,063.95. The Nasdaq composite index added 0.47 percent to end at 4,869.29.

— AP

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