Tue, February 09, 2010
Business > Markets

US stocks climb on hopes for Greece debt assistance

2010-02-09 15:54:11 GMT2010-02-09 23:54:11 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

NEW YORK – Stocks are higher as hopes grow that the European Union will help Greece with its growing debt burden.

Investors are shrugging off a steep drop in wholesale inventories. The Commerce Department says Tuesday that businesses cut wholesale inventories 0.8 percent in December. Economists expected a gain of 1 percent.

Concern about rising debt loads have pounded stocks for weeks and on Monday pushed the Dow Jones industrials to close below 10,000 for the first time in three months.

The Dow Jones industrial average is up 143 at 10,051. The Standard & Poor's 500 index is up 13 at 1,070, while the Nasdaq composite index is up 24 at 2,150.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks surged Tuesday morning as hopes grow the European Union will help Greece with its growing debt burden.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed back above 10,000 after closing below that threshold Monday for the first time in three months.

European markets rose in afternoon trading.

Stocks have been tumbling in recent weeks on concerns that debt problems in Greece, Portugal and Spain will spread to larger countries and upend a global economic recovery.

EU officials meet Thursday. It is expected they will address the debt problems.

Concerns over European debt problems are the latest worry for investors who have been selling stocks in recent weeks, putting a robust 10-month rally on hold. Stocks initially began to retreat as China said it would try to control its economy to avoid speculative bubbles and President Barack Obama announced plans to curb trading by large financial institutions.

In early morning trading, the Dow rose 122.21, or 1.2 percent, to 10,030.60. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 14.20, or 1.3 percent, to 1,070.94, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 27.37, or 1.3 percent, to 2,153.42.

In corporate earnings, Coca-Cola Co. reported fourth-quarter profit that matched analysts expectations. Its revenue topped forecasts as sales rose globally. Coca-Cola shares jumped $1.18, or 2.2 percent, to $53.83.

Investors looking for more evidence on the state of the economy will get a report on December business inventories and sales Tuesday. The Commerce Department is expected to say wholesale inventories and sales each rose by 0.5 percent in December, according to economists polled by Thomson Reuters.

It would mark the third straight monthly gain in inventories and eighth consecutive rise in sales. Wholesale inventories are goods held by distributors who generally buy from manufacturers and sell to retailers.

Companies replenishing inventories was the primary driver of economic growth during the fourth quarter, when the nation's gross domestic product rose at an annual pace of 5.7 percent. However, restocking inventories is not seen as a sustainable way to grow the economy.

Stocks have become more volatile in recent weeks as concerns grow about the strength and sustainability of a global economic recovery. The Dow, which fell almost 104 points Monday, has posted triple-digit moves in 10 of the last 16 trading days. The index has posted four consecutive Dow market has retreated 7.6 percent since hitting a 15-month high in the middle of January.

(Agencies)

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