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Business

Stocks climb higher in early trading

Banners for the Chinese eCommerce powerhouse Alibaba are

Banners for the Chinese eCommerce powerhouse Alibaba are draped on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, in anticipation of the company's IPO in Manhattan. Credit: AP / Kathy Willens

Major market indexes are heading higher Friday as the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba prepares its stock-market debut. The Standard & Poor's 500 index pushed above the record level reached the day before.

KEEPING SCORE: As of 9:55 a.m. on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 74 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,340. The S&P 500 index gained seven points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,019. The Nasdaq composite picked up 13 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,606.

ALIBABA IPO: Alibaba is set to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "BABA." The company priced its initial public offering of stock at $68 a share late Thursday, raising $21.8 billion from investors. That gives the company a market value of nearly $168 billion, bigger than Amazon.com.

IT'S A NAY: Britain's main stock index made gains after voters in Scotland rejected a referendum to break from the U.K. Some warned that if Scotland left uncertainty over the future value of the British pound and government debt would have rattled the U.K economy.

THE QUOTE: "Trading desks have been staffed in London, with all hands on deck around Asia and Australia," said Chris Weston, chief strategist at IG Markets in Melbourne, Australia. "The market was always positioned for Scotland to remain in the United Kingdom."

EUROPE: Britain's FTSE 100 advanced 0.7 percent. France's CAC 40 rose 0.1 percent, and Germany's DAX added 0.6 percent.

ASIA'S DAY: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 jumped 1.6 percent as the yen's weakness gave a boost to companies that rely on exports. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.6 percent while the Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China gained 0.6 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil slipped 35 cents to $91.63 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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