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Stocks leap as investors hope for steady interest rates

The American flag flies above the Wall Street

The American flag flies above the Wall Street entrance to the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

U.S. stocks surged Monday after a Federal Reserve official said the central bank shouldn’t raise interest rates too soon, which came as a big relief to investors. After a market nosedive on Friday, investors bought safe investments like household goods makers and phone companies. Technology companies also jumped.

Stocks started the day lower following Friday’s drop, but they soon rallied. Investors were pleased when Lael Brainard, a member of the Federal Reserve board, said the Fed shouldn’t raise interest rates quickly because that could hurt the economy. The biggest gains went to safe investments that pay big dividends, as they are more enticing to investors when interest rates and bond yields are low.

Stocks had plunged Friday following remarks from another Fed official that suggested interest rates could go up next week.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 239.62 points, or 1.3 percent, to 18,325.07. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 31.23 points, or 1.5 percent, to 2,159.04. The Nasdaq composite surged 85.98 points, or 1.7 percent, to 5,211.89.

The gains in the main three U.S. indexes made up for more than half of Friday’s losses.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note dipped to 1.67 percent from 1.68 percent.

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