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US: Stocks join global rally; S&P 500 +2.5%


[NEW YORK] US stocks powered higher on Tuesday, rallying with most global equity markets following a rise in Chinese stocks and improved eurozone economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 390.30 points (2.42 per cent) at 16,492.68.

The broad-based S&P 500 jumped 48.19 (2.51 per cent) to 1,969.41, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 128.01 (2.73 per cent) to 4,811.93.

The gains followed a 2.9 per cent rise in China's volatile Shanghai Index and an upgrade on the reading for eurozone second-quarter economic growth to 0.4 per cent from 0.3 per cent.

The Wall Street advance also helped offset deep losses last week when China fears led to a 3.4 per cent drop in the S&P 500. The US markets were closed Monday for the Labour Day holiday.

"The market was so oversold after last week, we were probably due for a bounce" said Bill Lynch, director of investment at Hinsdale Associates.

Dow member Apple added 2.7 per cent ahead of its expected launch Wednesday of updated iPhones and an Apple TV revamp that may signal a push into online television streaming.

General Electric, another Dow component, surged 4.0 per cent on the news European Union and US regulators approved its acquisition of French company Alstom's energy assets. GE said the deal was worth about US$9.5 billion following divestments to address antitrust concerns and other transaction changes.

All 30 members of the Dow plowed higher with especially strong gains from Wal-Mart Stores (+3.9 per cent), Intel (+3.4 per cent) and Pfizer (+3.7 per cent).

Other strong sectors included banks like Wells Fargo (+3.2 per cent) and Bank of America (+3.3 per cent) and biotech companies like Amgen (+5.1 per cent) and Celgene (+4.8 per cent).

But video streaming company Netflix fell for the seventh straight session, shedding 3.9 per cent.

Blackstone rose 5.2 per cent after striking a US$6 billion deal to acquire luxury property giant Strategic Hotels & Resorts, up 3.5 per cent.

Media and publishing company Meredith Corporation rose 9.9 per cent on news it will be acquired by Media General for about US$2.4 billion. Media General lost 6.0 per cent.

Concordia Healthcare tumbled 11.1 per cent on news it will acquire pharmaceutical company Amdipharm Mercury Limited for about US$3.5 billion.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.19 per cent from 2.13 per cent Friday, while the 30-year advanced to 2.97 per cent from 2.89 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.