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Stocks erase early losses, jump higher

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Stocks erase early losses, jump higher

Stocks erased early losses and moved higher Monday as oil prices surged 5% and the Dow jumped back into positive territory for the year. Wall Street reopened after the three-day holiday weekend and largely shrugged off Friday’s disappointing jobs report. The Dow Jones industrial average was up more than 150 points at midday, or 0.9%, to 17,915, after initially dropping more than 100 points. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index jumped 0.8% and the Nasdaq composite index rose 0.7%.AP FINANCIAL MARKETS WALL STREET F USA NY

Gains were led by the energy and utilities sectors. Benchmark U.S. crude jumped $2.55 to $51.68 a barrel. U.S. markets were closed Friday giving investors the weekend to digest an unexpectedly low jobs report, with employers adding just 126,000 new jobs in March, the smallest gain since December 2013. While that data could create doubt about the strength of the economy in the first quarter of 2015, it also decreases the likelihood the Fed will raise interest rates in the near future.

“Friday’s big U.S. payrolls miss would typically have shocked markets into a big move,” analyst Nicholas Teo at CMC Markets in Singapore said in a commentary. “With the extended Easter weekend break, however, traders may have had the time to digest this huge blow, along with their chocolate eggs. Some were even willing to speculate that this sluggish momentum in U.S. job creation could persuade the Fed to move on rates later.”

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