Oil price, energy stocks rally
US stocks were mostly rising Thursday afternoon and recovering some of their steep losses from the day before.
The price of oil also recovered from a big decline, and that lifted energy companies, which have been struggling as energy prices tumble.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 139 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 15,899 as of 3:09 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 11 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 1,870. The Nasdaq composite rose eight points, or 0.2 per cent, to 4,479.
Stocks were on pace for large gains earlier in the day. The Dow was up 272 points shortly after noon, which would have cancelled out Wednesday's loss.
Oil and gas stocks climbed after a plunge a day earlier. Natural gas company Southwestern Energy jumped after saying it will eliminate around 1,100 jobs in the next few months.
Energy stocks have crumbled as the price of oil fell from US$100 a barrel in mid-2014 to their current prices, which are 12-year lows.
US crude rose US$1.18, or 4.2 per cent, to close at US$29.53 a barrel in New York. On Wednesday, US crude took its biggest one-day loss since September.
Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, rose US$1.37, or 4.9 per cent, to US$29.25 a barrel in London Thursday.
Stocks got a lift after European Central Bank head Mario Draghi said on Thursday the ECB will consider using more stimulus measures at its next meeting in March as it tries to bolster the European economy. The prospect of more stimulus sent the euro down to US$1.0878 from US$1.0894 late Wednesday.
The ECB has been buying government-backed bonds, and the yields on 10-year Treasury notes backed by European countries dropped following Draghi's remarks. That suggests investors expect government bond prices to rise.