Stocks Rise Following Global Gains

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are rising in afternoon trading Wednesday following big gains in Asia and Europe, but major indexes are still heading for their worst quarterly close in four years. Many stock benchmarks around the world have also lost ground in the third quarter, weighed down by weak growth in major economies and the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average gained 114 points, or 0.7 percent, to 16,163 as of 1:11 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index jumped 18 points, or 1 percent, to 1,902. The Nasdaq composite climbed 57 points, or 1.3 percent, to 4,574.

THE QUOTE: "I've been surprised we haven't had rallies like the one we're seeing now," said Tim Courtney, chief investment officer of Exencial Wealth Advisors. After "so many negative days, you're going to get a bounceback."

LIFT AT LAUREN: Ralph Lauren jumped $12.98, or 12.5 percent, to $117.03 after the company named a new CEO to replace its founder. The new CEO, Stefan Larsson, will leave his current job as global president of Gap's low-price Old Navy chain. Gap fell $1.93, or 6 percent, to $28.29.

DEAL MOVE: Western Digital surged $10.33, or 15 percent, to $79.19 after the digital storage company agreed to a $3.8 billion investment from China's Unisplendour Corp.

ENERGY BOOST: Chesapeake Energy rose 24 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $7.03 after announcing that it would cut 15 percent of its workforce.

BAD QUARTER: From worries over Greece's debt, a slowing Chinese economy, plunging emerging-market currencies and a scary slide in commodity prices, the U.S. stock market has been hit with one blow after another in the past three months. The Dow index has fallen 8.1 percent in that time. The S&P 500 is off 7.6 percent, heading for its worst quarterly close in four years.

The biggest S&P 500 losers: energy companies, down 19 percent, and raw-material suppliers, down 18 percent.

JOBS WATCH: Investors are waiting for jobs data out Friday for clues about when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates. Policymakers have said they will likely raise rates before the end of the year. On Wednesday, U.S. payroll processor ADP reported that U.S. employers added 200,000 jobs this month, up from 180,000 in the previous month.

EUROPE RISING: Britain's FTSE 100 rose 2.2 percent, France's CAC 40 jumped 2.6 percent and Germany's DAX gained 2.2 percent. The worst performing of those indexes, the DAX, is down 11.8 percent for the July-September quarter.

JAPAN HOPE: The Nikkei 225 surged 2.7 percent on expectations of more monetary and fiscal stimulus following weakness in recent economic data. Domestic demand is tepid in the world's third-biggest economy and China's slowdown has crimped Japanese exports.

ASIA'S DAY: China's Shanghai Composite Index was 0.5 percent higher; it has lost 29 percent in the past three months. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index added 1.4 percent and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 2.1 percent. South Korea's stock market finished 1 percent higher.

ENERGY: Benchmark crude rose 15 cents to $49.79 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent Crude, a benchmark for international oils, added 29 cents to $49.13 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The euro weakened to $1.1179. The dollar rose to 119.74 yen.

BONDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.06 percent from 2.06 percent the day before.

(BAS)