U.S. Stocks Up on Energy, Mining Companies

By Riva Gold and Gunjan Banerji Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. stocks rose Monday as a jump in commodities prices boosted shares of energy and mining companies.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 85 points, or 0.4%, to 20982. The S&P 500 rose 0.5%, and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.5%.

U.S. crude oil rose 2.1% to $48.85 a barrel after top energy officials in Saudi Arabia and Russia said they would back a nine-month extension to a production-cut deal led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said the pact should continue until the end of March 2018.

"A lot of the imbalances that we saw in the crude oil markets are beginning to stabilize," said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Baird. The prospect of oil production coming closer in line with consumption has led to this "relief rally in oil," he said.

Energy stocks in the S&P 500 climbed 0.6%, with Transocean, Marathon Oil and Halliburton among the best performers.

The Stoxx Europe 600 rose less than 0.1%, buoyed by a 0.9% climb in the oil and gas sector -- the only one in negative territory for the year.

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Shares of mining companies also advanced on gains in base metals prices after Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged more than $100 billion in new financing as part of a mega-infrastructure project.

Shares of Symantec, a maker of antivirus software, climbed 3.2% after a global cyberattack hit computers around the globe. Moves in traditional safe haven assets, including government bonds, gold and the yen, were muted.

In currencies, the euro rose 0.4% against the dollar to $1.0980. Speculative euro positions surged into positive territory for the first time since May 2014, according to the most recent CFTC data, as investors drew encouragement from French election results and improving economic data.

The WSJ Dollar Index edged down 0.2%.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 2.338%, according to Tradeweb, from 2.331% Friday. Yields move inversely to prices.

Investors continue to bet the economy will be strong enough for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in June. Fed-funds futures, which are used by investors to bet on central bank policy, currently suggest a 74% chance of a rate rise next month, down from 83% a week ago, according to the CME Group.

"More recent figures haven't been great, but certainly this year we've had fairly strong [economic] numbers out," said Paul Flood, multiasset manager at Newton Investment Management.

"As long as you've got economic growth, you tend to favor equities or equity-like instruments over bonds," he said.

Write to Riva Gold at riva.gold@wsj.com and Gunjan Banerji at Gunjan.Banerji@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 15, 2017 16:21 ET (20:21 GMT)