Stock and Commodities
U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, moving back to 2008 highs, after a jump in bank shares and further upbeat data on the labor market, though sharp gains in oil prices limited the advance. After losses on Wednesday, the rebound took the S&P 500 back above its 1,370 resistance level, which is seen as key to maintaining momentum in this five-month rally. Bank shares ranked among the best performers on hopes that the European Central Bank's second long-term liquidity injection. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 28.23 points, or 0.22 percent, at 12,980.30. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 8.41 points, or 0.62 percent, at 1,374.09. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 22.08 points, or 0.74 percent, at 2,988.97.
U.S. crude futures rose sharply on Thursday and global benchmark Brent crude jumped to its highest intraday price since 2008 after a report out of Iran of a pipeline fire in Saudi Arabia. Iranian media reported an explosion on an unknown oil pipeline in the oil-rich Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Prices pulled back after newswires reported a Saudi oil official said the report was untrue. Ahead of that flurry of activity, crude futures on both sides of the Atlantic had been lifted by supportive economic data from China and the United States and the ongoing concerns about supply disruptions and tensions with Iran.