U.S. Stocks Post Solid Gains After Oil Rally, Upbeat Earnings

U.S. stocks recorded solid gains on Thursday, buoyed by a rebound in oil prices, deal news and upbeat quarterly earnings, pushing the S&P 500 and Dow industrials into positive territory for the year. Crude oil prices swung higher, gaining 4% and reclaiming the $50-a-barrel level. In merger news, Pfizer announced it would buy Hospira Inc. for $16 billion. The S&P 500 closed 21 points, or 1%, higher at 2,062.50, with broad-based gains across all ten main sectors. A jump in oil prices lifted energy and materials stocks, while Pfizer deal news boosted healthcare stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 212 points, or 1.2%, to 17,885. The Nasdaq Composite ended the day up 48 points, or 1%, at 4,765.

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