Bank lead stock market higher after many win clearance to raise dividends; dollar surge abates

Markets Associated Press

Financial stocks are leading U.S. market indexes higher a day after a number of banks announced dividend increases and stock buybacks.

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Morgan Stanley gained 6 percent Thursday. The bank raised its dividend and announced a share buyback after getting permission to do so from the Federal Reserve. Other banks also rose.

Investors were also relieved that a recent surge in the dollar was abating. The stronger currency was threatening profits of U.S. companies that rely heavily on overseas sales.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 259 points, or 1.5 percent, to 17,895.

The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 25 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,065. The Nasdaq composite rose 43 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4,893.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.11 percent.