Wall Street rallied on Friday, led by a rebound in beaten-down financial and energy stocks after five straight days of a gruelling selloff on fears over the health of the global economy and the banking sector.
Nine of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 3.7 percent rise in the financial sector .SPSY. Energy .SPNY and materials .SPLRCM stocks, both of which have been hit by slumping commodities prices, were up about 2.5 percent.
Banks stocks, which were the worst hit due to concerns about the impact of negative interest rates and a energy-backed loan defaults, were the top gainers, led by JPMorgan's (JPM.N) near 8 percent gain.
U.S. crude oil prices soared 11 percent and Brent jumped nearly 9 percent, bouncing back from 2003-lows, on prospects for a coordinated production cut.
Also helping boost sentiment was a report that showed U.S. consumer spending regained its mojo in January, in a hopeful sign that economic growth was picking up after slowing to a crawl at the end of 2015.
Some of the day's gains could be people squaring their positions ahead of the long weekend. The U.S. market is closed on Monday for President's day.
"The market will probably be led by short covering," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.
At 12:35 p.m. ET (1735 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 234.52 points, or 1.5 percent, at 15,894.7.
The S&P 500 .SPX was up 27.4 points, or 1.5 percent, at 1,856.48.
The Nasdaq Composite index .IXIC was up 52.73 points, or 1.24 percent, at 4,319.57.
This week's selloff, which saw the S&P 500 touch a two-year low on Thursday, has brought long-acknowledged drawbacks of negative rates sharply into focus, with some analysts suggesting a recession is around the corner.
New York Fed President William Dudley on Friday said the U.S. economy has "quite a bit of momentum," making it "extraordinarily premature" to even talk about the possibility of using negative rates.
JPMorgan jumped 7.9 percent to $57.26 after CEO Jamie Dimon bought more than $25 million of the bank's stock.
Activision Blizzard (ATVI.O) dropped 10 percent to $27.40 after the videogame maker reported disappointing results.
Wynn Resorts (WYNN.O) rose 13.2 percent to $67.59 after the casino operator reported a strong quarterly profit.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,360 to 654. On the Nasdaq, 1,935 issues rose and 738 fell.
(Reporting by Aastha Agnihotri and Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)
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Published Date: Feb 13, 2016 12:15 am | Updated Date: Feb 13, 2016 12:15 am