By BERNARD CONDON, AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rose on Wall Street early Monday, led by gains in energy companies as the price of crude oil increased sharply. Marathon Oil jumped 7 percent and offshore driller Transocean rose 6 percent. Major U.S. stock indexes have fallen for three weeks in a row.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 70 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,605 as of 10:25 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose eight points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,054. The Nasdaq composite index gained 26 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,743.
OIL JUMP: Benchmark U.S. crude rose $1.53, or 3.3 percent, to $47.73 a barrel after an upbeat forecast from Goldman Sachs. Analysts at the investment bank said the crude market has gone from near “storage saturation” to a “deficit” much earlier than expected. They expect the U.S. benchmark to rise to about $50 a barrel in the second half of this year. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, added $1.52 to $49.36 per barrel in London.
BUFFETT BUYS MORE APPLE: Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought 9.8 million Apple shares as the tech giant traded near its lowest price in almost two years, according to regulatory documents released Monday. Apple rose $2.19, or 2.4 percent, to $92.71.
ENERGY DEAL: Memorial Resource Development rose $1.55, or 11 percent, to $15 per share after natural gas company Range Resources said it would buy it for $3.3 billion. Range Resources fell $2.25, or 5.5 percent, to $39.74.
EUROPE’S DAY: Britain’s FTSE 100 was flat while the CAC-40 in France dropped 0.5 percent. Germany’s DAX was closed for a holiday.
CHINESE WEAKNESS: A report over the weekend showed that industrial production growth in China slipped to a year-on-year rate of 6 percent in April from 6.8 percent the previous month, adding to fears over a slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy.
ANALYST TAKE: The report “paints an altogether gloomier picture,” said David Cheetham, market analyst at XTB. He said the report is worrisome given that China “poured a record amount of fresh credit into the economy for the first quarter.”
FED FOCUS: U.S. interest rate policy is expected to be a driver in financial markets this week. In addition to planned remarks from several Fed officials, traders will also be monitoring Wednesday’s release of minutes from the last meeting of the Fed policymakers.
ASIA’S DAY: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.8 percent. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 rose 0.6 percent and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 added 0.3 percent. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Singapore and the Philippines rose.
BONDS, CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.75 percent from 1.70 percent. The dollar rose to 108.84 yen from 108.63 yen and the euro rose to $1.1333 from $1.307.
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