By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks bounced back after five sessions of losses on Friday along with a sharp rebound in energy shares, following data signaling the U.S. economy was on track for solid growth.
U.S. consumer sentiment hit its highest in 11 years in January, while factory output rose last month, reports showed.
Investors attempted to interpret the impact of the move by the Swiss National Bank on Thursday to lift the cap on the Swiss franc. The decision could be seen as foreshadowing a large stimulus move by the European Central Bank next week that would further weaken the euro, or as a safeguard against a possible Greek exit from the euro zone that could potentially destabilize the bloc.
All 10 of the S&P 500 sectors were higher, though energy <.SPNY> led the charge, rising 2.6 percent. Oil prices gained after the International Energy Agency forecast the market downtrend would end. Still, analysts said strong gains were unlikely in the near term as global output outweighs demand.
“Crude oil is up, it’s been up for a couple of days, any time that happens there is a belief we have put in a bottom,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Group in Bedford Hills, New York.
At 1:03 p.m. EST, the Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 101.56 points, or 0.59 percent, to 17,422.27, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 16.1 points, or 0.81 percent, to 2,008.77 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 36.65 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,607.47.
Indexes were still on track to post a third straight week of declines, however.
Shares of retail foreign exchange broker FXCM Inc <FXCM.N>, were halted after it said it may be in breach of regulatory capital requirements following client losses related to the Swiss move to ditch the cap on the Swiss franc’s value.
Two people familiar with the matter said investment bank Jefferies has expressed interest in a rescue deal with FXCM. Shares of Jefferies parent, Leucadia National Corp <LUK.N> were also halted.
Interactive Brokers <IBKR.O>, whose clients also are exposed to currency trades, was down nearly 2 percent. The company said several customers suffered losses in excess of their deposit due to the sudden move in the Swiss franc.
Among the biggest energy gainers, shares of Schlumberger Ltd <SLB.N>, the world’s No. 1 oilfield services provider, jumped 5 percent after it said the oil price drop was likely to have a “significantly more dramatic” impact on North America than on the rest of the world. Schlumberger derives two-thirds of its revenue from operations outside North America. Shares of Halliburton <HAL.N> gained 4.1 percent.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 2,178 to 851, for a 2.56-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,822 issues rose and 843 fell for a 2.16-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 21 new 52-week highs and 14 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 24 new highs and 91 new lows.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum and Jeffrey Benkoe)
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