Global stocks at two-month highs, dollar up; oil down for week

Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:30pm EDT
 
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By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks in major world markets rose to a two-month high on Friday and the dollar ticked up, boosted by views that the European Central Bank may provide more stimulus to the euro zone economy.

Oil prices rose nearly 2 percent as traders covered short positions after four days of losses and the U.S. oil rig count fell for a seventh straight week.

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index rose for a third consecutive week, a streak not seen since May. General Electric (GE.N: Quote) helped buoy the index for the day with a 3.4 percent gain after the company reported quarterly results, but other industrials like Honeywell (HON.N: Quote) fell.

"Right now, the trade is a risk relief rally, people buying back the risk they sold earlier in the month," said Paul Zemsky, chief investment officer, multi-asset strategies and solutions at Voya Investment Management in New York.

With earnings in view, Zemsky said, "Expectations have been depressed so far it seems almost certain we’ll have a positive surprise."

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 74.22 points, or 0.43 percent, to 17,215.97, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 9.25 points, or 0.46 percent, to 2,033.11, and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 16.59 points, or 0.34 percent, to 4,886.69.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 closed up 0.7 percent. For the week, the index was little changed, after a 4.4 percent advance the preceding week.

An MSCI gauge of stocks in top world markets .MIWD00000PUS rose 0.4 percent to close at its highest since mid-August.   Continued...

 
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange October 16, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid