U.S stocks followed markets from around the world higher on Wednesday, despite fresh data which showed that housing, jobs and the economy are weakening further.
Applied Data Processing reported that 679,000 private sector jobs were lost in January, the Institute for Supply Management said the service sector of the economy contracted for a fifth straight month (and at a faster pace) and First American CoreLogic said that more than 8.3 million homeowners owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth, an indication that foreclosure rates will continue to rise.
Still, markets rose on speculation China will broaden efforts to boost growth and U.S. lawmakers will reach agreement on a plan to stem mortgage defaults.
In recent trade, the DOW was moving higher by 2.05%. The broader S&P 500 was ahead by 2.11% and the tech-heavy NASDAQ by 2.37%.
The dollar was trading in risk-acceptance mode after S&P futures rose overnight and the cash market extended the gains. The greenback was lower by 0.61% against the euro, 1.87% against Australia's dollar and by 0.83% against sterling as it rose 1.17$ on the yen.
Crude was trading higher by 6.31% after the weekly report on inventories showed that stockpiles fell more than forecast and that demand for gasoline improved.
Gold was trading 0.41% on the day, extending its decline from over $1000 per ounce made back on Feb. 20.