NEW YORK – U.S. stocks are opening higher on speculation that Greece will be able to forge a deal with creditors this weekend to secure its future in the euro. Investors were also encouraged by a second day of gains in China's stock market, suggesting that the government has managed to stem a market rout.
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KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 20 points, or 1 percent, to 2,072 as of 10:03 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 186 points, or 1.1 percent, to 17,734. The Nasdaq composite gained 55 points, or 1.1 percent, to 4,978.
GREEK BREAKTHROUGH? Greece and its creditors appeared to be narrowing their differences after Athens offered reform proposals in order to secure a third bailout of around 53 billion euros ($59.5 billion). The proposals, which included around 13 billion euros worth of austerity measures, have so far met with a positive response. French President Francois Hollande described them as "credible."
Representatives from the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund are assessing the proposals. If Greece fails to win the support of creditors for a new bailout, the country faces bankruptcy and an exit from the euro. The eurozone's finance ministers are due to meet on Saturday, and their verdict will go a long way to determining the fate of Greece.
EUROPE'S DAY: Germany's DAX surged 2.6 percent while the CAC-40 in France jumped 3.1 percent. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rose 1.4 percent.
THE QUOTE: "Optimism that Greece and its creditors can come together and reach an agreement has helped stocks push higher," said Jasper Lawler, market analyst at CMC Markets. "It's the closest a deal for Greece has been in five months."
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BONDS AND CURRENCIES: The euro surged against the dollar on Friday, climbing 1.2 percent to $1.1195. The dollar rose 0.7 percent against the Japanese currency, to 122.62 yen.
In bond trading, prices fell, pushing yields higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbed to 2.39 percent from 2.32 percent on Thursday.
CHINA SURGE: On Friday, Chinese stocks jumped for a second day following a three-week slide that authorities have managed to reverse after applying increasingly wide-ranging support measures. The Official Xinhua News Agency said more than a third of companies listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges surged by the daily limit of 10 percent on Friday. China's Shanghai Composite Index jumped 4.5 percent. It is still down 24 percent this month.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was little changed at $52.82 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, rose 23 cents to $58.84 a barrel in London.