U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, boosted by firms involved in commodities as the euro rallied strongly against the dollar and commodities prices gained.
European financial firms traded in the U.S. are among the biggest gainers, with the notable exception of the National Bank of Greece (NYSE:NBG) as European ministers avoided discussing the details of a Greece bailout on Tuesday and continued to take a tough stance towards the country.
The S&P 500 is up 14.22 points, or 1.32 percent, to trade at 1,089.73 at 12:15 pm. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 124.70 points, or 1.32 percent, to trade at 10,223.84.
March crude oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange continued to surge today. After briefly losing steam around the opening of the U.S. stock market, they started to extend their rally at 9:45 am. The futures are currently trading at $77.04, up $2.93 or 3.94 percent.
Steel stocks are among the top gainers of the S&P 500, with AK Steel (NYSE:AKS) gaining 5.87 percent, Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) gaining 4.82 percent, and US Steel (NYSE:X) gaining 6.40 percent.
Chevron (NYSE:CVX), up 2.34 percent, and Alcoa (NYSE:AA), up 2.18 percent, are among the top gainers of the Dow.
European financial firms continue to rally after Barclays (NYSE:BCS) reported better than expected earnings today. The euro has rallied over 100 pips against the dollar since the opening of the U.S. stock market.
The American Depository Receipts (ADRs) of Barclays are up 11.45 percent, those of Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) are up 3.94 percent. UBS AG (USA) (NYSE:UBS) shares are up 6.05 percent, and Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (NYSE:DB) shares rose 4.24 percent.
The ADRs of National Bank of Greece are down 5.06 percent.
European finance ministers continue to back Greece's austerity plans and signaled that they will carefully monitor the progress.
European leaders expect Greece to trim its budget deficit by 4 percentage points in 2010 from the 2009 budget deficit figure, which was 12.7 percent of Greece's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Greece is expected to update member nations on its progress on March 16, May 15, and then report on a quarterly schedule.
If Greece is not on track with its budget deficit trimming by March 16th, European leaders will press the country for increased measures.
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