NEW YORK – U.S. stocks rose in early trading on optimism that policymakers in Asia will do more to help boost growth in the region. Japan's stock market logged its biggest gain in almost seven years after comments from the country's Prime Minister raised expectations of more measures to shore up economic growth. China's No. 2 leader said that the nation had no plans to devalue its currency further and suggested that growth remained on track.
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KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 74 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,564 as of 10:07 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 8 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,977. The Nasdaq composite rose 20 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,831.
BIG IN JAPAN: The Nikkei 225 soared after comments from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that raised expectations of more measures to shore up economic growth under his "Abenomics" stimulus program. The remarks gave a boost to Japanese stocks, pushing the Nikkei index up 7.7 percent, its biggest one-day rise since October 2008.
CHINA'S GROWTH: China's No. 2 leader tried Wednesday to ease concerns about its economic slowdown, saying the nation's growth is in the "proper range" and Beijing has no plans to allow its currency to decline further following a surprise devaluation on Aug. 11. Premier Li Keqiang also said Beijing will stick to plans for market-opening reforms despite recent "fluctuations" in economic performance.
BIG BOUNCE: U.S. stocks were rallying a day after logging their second-biggest gain of the year. The advances helped push the major U.S. stock indexes into positive territory for the month. Stocks had slumped last week on concern about the outlook for growth in China, the world's second-biggest economy.
EUROPE'S DAY: France's CAC 40 advanced 2.6 percent. Germany's DAX rose 1.6 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 1.9 percent.
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GLOBAL REACH: Netflix gained $5.89, or 6.2 percent, to $100.87 after the company said it would bring its service to four more Asian countries next year. The company's stock was rebounding from a seven-day losing streak.
BONDS AND CURRENCIES: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.25 percent from 2.19 percent on Tuesday. The dollar rose 0.7 percent against the euro to $1.1144 and gained against the yen, climbing 1.2 percent to 121.18.
ENERGY: U.S. benchmark oil was fell 76 cents to $45.18 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell 75 cents to $48.77 barrel in London.
AP Business Writer Elaine Kurtenbach contributed from Tokyo.