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U.S. stocks stage rally on second straight last-minute oil


US Stock Exchange

US Stock Exchange

UNITED States stocks rallied in afternoon trading, as oil bounced in the final minutes of Thursday’s session pushing equities broadly higher for the second consecutive day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 212.30 or 1.29% to 16,679.29, while the NASDAQ Composite index added 39.60 or 0.87% to 4,582.21, amid strong performances from media and technology stocks.

The Dow closed near session-highs. The S&P 500 Composite index gained 21.90 or 1.13% to 1,951.70, as all 10 sectors closed in the green. Stocks in the Financials, Consumer Goods and Health Care industries led, each gaining by more than 1% on the session.

For the month, the Dow and S&P 500 are slightly higher, while the NASDAQ is fractionally lower. With Thursday’s last-minute rally, WTI crude closed at $33.12 a barrel, up by more than 3% on the session. Since sliding to fresh 13-year lows earlier this month, the front month contract for U.S. crude has rallied by more than 16%.

The major indices, meanwhile, continue to trade in lockstep with the crude future markets at a correlation around 95%. U.S. investors also shrugged off a massive sell-off in Chinese equities after the Shanghai Composite index tumbled 6%, ahead of this weekend’s G-20 summit in Shanghai.

The top performer on the Dow was United Technologies Corporation (N:UTX), which added 4.50 or 4.81% to close at 98.11. On Wednesday, Airbus CEO Tom Enders said a potential merger between United Technologies (N:UTX) and Honeywell International Inc (N:HON) would not be in the best interests of his company.

It came one day after United Technologies CEO Gregory Hayes ruled out the blockbuster merger with the multinational conglomerate, citing broad regulatory constraints in the U.S. and the EU.

Honeywell, however, has not ruled out a possible deal, arguing that it does not believe the regulatory process presents “a material obstacle to a transaction.”

The worst performer was Chevron Corporation (N:CVX), which inched up 0.02 or 0.02% to 85.29. All 30 Dow components closed in the green. The biggest gainer on the NASDAQ was Tesla Motors Inc (O:TSLA), which surged 8.16 or 4.56% to 187.16.

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