U.S. stocks rose on Friday as the clouded political picture in Egypt cleared somewhat following the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, lifting investor sentiment.
A military council was named to run the country after 18 days of anti-government protests, state television said. The possible spread of Egypt's unrest elsewhere in the oil-producing region had weighed on markets.
It is all about clarity today. While we don't know what the future is for Egypt yet, we are at least a step closer to what that future looks like, said Burt White, chief investment officer at LPL Financial in Boston.
Clarity out of Egypt is lowering some of the pressure we had and is really setting us up to move beyond the post-(financial) crisis highs that we have recently touched.
Market Vectors Egypt Index ETF
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 17.37 points, or 0.14 percent, at 12,246.66. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 4.01 points, or 0.30 percent, at 1,325.88. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 10.24 points, or 0.37 percent, at 2,800.69.
Closer to home, shares of mortgage insurers rose after the Obama administration presented options for overhauling the wrecked U.S. housing finance system. The administration pledged to continue backing existing obligations of Fannie Mae
A drought in Northern China has hit 7.7 million hectares of winter wheat growing areas, which, coupled with strong demand, is lifting some agricultural processor stocks, according to optionMonster co-founder Jon Najarian.
Agribusiness Bunge Ltd
On the S&P 500, the energy sector was the weakest performing after oil prices declined along with worries of possible oil supply problems in the Middle East.
The S&P energy sector index <.GSPE> fell 0.2 percent.
U.S.-listed shares of Nokia fell 13.6 percent to $9.40.
(Reporting by Angela Moon, Editing by Kenneth Barry)