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US: Stocks end higher as oil steadies


[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks finished higher on Monday after US oil prices rose for the first time in more than a week, offering a reprieve to the commodity rout.

Dow members ExxonMobil and Chevron gained 2.3 per cent and 3.3 per cent, respectively, after US oil prices finished higher for the first time in seven sessions. The S&P 500 lost 3.8 percent last week as the oil slump deepened.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 103.29 points (0.60 per cent) at 17,368.50.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 9.57 (0.48 per cent) to 2,021.94, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 18.76 (0.38 per cent) at 4,952.23.

"It looks like the US equities market was taking its cues from oil today," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank. "We had oil dip below US$35 a barrel and then ending up the day higher."

Apple fell 0.6 per cent after Morgan Stanley lowered its price target on the technology giant based on a forecast of falling 2016 iPhone sales.

Other leading technology shares rallied. Amazon rose 2.8 per cent, Facebook 2.5 per cent and Google parent Alphabet 1.2 per cent.

Jarden, the maker of Mr. Coffee coffeemakers, AeroBed inflatable mattresses and other consumer goods, rose 2.7 per cent after it agreed to be acquired by Newell Rubbermaid, maker of Rubbermaid storage containers, Sharpie pens and Calphalon cookware, for US$15.4 billion. Newell Rubbermaid fell 6.9 per cent.

Yahoo fell 1.0 per cent as investment fund SpringOwl called for the company to slash more than 80 per cent of its workforce and replace chief executive Marissa Mayer. SpringOwl did not disclose the size of its investment in the tech company.

Dow Chemical dropped 3.9 per cent on news activist Daniel Loeb called for the ouster of chief executive Andrew Liveris. Dow announced on Friday a mega-merger deal with chemical giant DuPont. DuPont shed 3.6 per cent.

Natural gas company Cheniere Energy fell 2.9 per cent on news it replaced Charif Souki as chief executive with board member Neal Shear as interim chief.

First Solar jumped 5.7 per cent and SolarCity 12.3 per cent after 195 nations reached an historic deal over the weekend to cut emissions to address climate change.

Electric-car maker Tesla Motors advanced 0.7 per cent. Coal producers Consol Energy and Peabody Energy lost 3.7 per cent and 13.2 per cent, respectively.