A decent U.S. jobs report, word that the Fed is considering a new kind of money printing and an upbeat mood swing on Greece lifted stocks, the euro and commodities Wednesday.
U.S. employers hired more people in February, according to the payroll firm Automatic Data Processing, and productivity climbed in the fourth quarter. Consumers borrowed more in January than expected, indicating increased spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the U.S. economy. The Fed leaked a plan to The Wall Street Journal on a potentially inflation-proof version of quantitative easing.
More pension funds and big banks committed to an orderly default of Greek government bonds, a key requirement of the nation's financial rescue. By late Wednesday, Greece was only a few percentage points from the 66.7 percent commitment level needed to force all bondholders to take losses on their investments.
Stocks. Eight of 10 S&P sectors closed higher, paced by financials and industrials. The main European stock indexes all settled higher, but key Asian indexes all finished lower.
Bonds. Treasurys slid after the ADP report, and Germany paid the lowest interest ever to borrow money for five years. The yield on two-year notes from Poland fell to its lowest level in three weeks.
Currencies. The euro gained on the dollar, as did the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars. The greenback rose against the yen. Other gainers included Mexico's and Colombia's pesos.
Commodities. Crude oil rose 1.6 percent, and natural gas hit a 10-year low. Copper settled higher for the first time in four trading sessions and gold reversed three days of losses. Nearly all agricultural commodities closed down.