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Monday, April 12, 2021

Stocks open higher, breaking 4-week losing streak

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rose sharply in early trading Monday,

shaking off a four-week losing streak.

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The Dow Jones industrial average rose 124 points, or 1.1 percent,

to 10,942. The Dow lost 4 percent last week as worries deepened

that the U.S. economy could slip back into a recession.

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Many traders are looking ahead to a speech by Ben Bernanke, the

Federal Reserve chairman, at an annual meeting in Jackson Hole,

Wyo. on Friday. Last year, Bernanke’s speech at Jackson Hole set

the stage for a $600 billion program to stimulate the economy

through buying Treasury bonds. Some analysts believe the Fed may

make another move to help the flagging U.S. economy.

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Brent crude prices fell to near $107 a barrel after Libyan rebels

swept into Tripoli, the country’s capital. If the uprising succeeds

in toppling Moammar Gadhafi, the OPEC nation’s oil exports could

resume soon.

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The gains early Monday were broad; all 10 industry groups in the

S&P 500 rose. Technology stocks rose 1.8 percent, the most of

any industry in the index. Hewlett-Packard Co. rose 5 percent, the

most of any stock in the Dow Jones industrial average.

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Boeing Co. rose 2.6 percent after Britain’s Royal Air Force said it

would buy 14 Chinook helicopters for $1.6 billion.

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Lowe’s Cos. rose 1 percent. The home improvement retailer said it

will buy back up to $5 billion stock over the next two to three

years. Last week, Lowe’s lowered its sales forecast for the second

half of the year as shoppers grow more worried about the

economy.

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The S&P 500 index rose 12 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,136 in

early trading. The Nasdaq rose 28 points, or 1.2 percent, to

2,370.

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Stocks have been sliding over the past four weeks on worries that

the U.S. might enter another recession. The S&P 500 index lost

4.7 percent last week. The sharpest drops came Thursday with news

of weaker manufacturing in the mid-Atlantic states and an increase

in the number of people who applied for unemployment

benefits.

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No major economic reports are due out Monday. Later in the week,

traders will be sorting through figures on new home sales, durable

goods orders and weekly claims for unemployment benefits to see if

another recession could be on the way.

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