US Stocks Surge on China Stimulus Hopes

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are climbing Tuesday after the Chinese government moved to stimulate its economy. Machinery companies and miners are rising the most, and energy companies are trading higher with the price of oil. Stocks are on track for their biggest gain in a month.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 200 points, or 1.1 percent, to 17,906 as of 12:31 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 added 21 points, or 1 percent, to 2,079. The Nasdaq composite index picked up 46 points, or 1 percent, to 4,796.

CHINA FACTOR: China's Cabinet approved measures to boost exports as Beijing struggles to reduce gluts in many industries and reverse an export decline that threatens to cause job losses. The moves include more bank lending, greater tax rebates, and support for export credits.

The news sent machinery and equipment companies higher. General Electric picked up 50 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $30.37 and aerospace giant Boeing rose $2.96, or 2.2 percent, to $135.06.

ENERGY: U.S. crude rose $1.06, or 2.4 percent, to $44.50 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, gained $1.67, or 3.8 percent, to $45.30 a barrel in London. U.S. crude fell almost 3 percent Monday and Brent crude sank almost 4 percent.

Among energy companies, Exxon Mobil added 87 cents, or 1 percent, to $89.44 and Hess climbed $2.70, or 5 percent, to $57.17.

BANK BOOST: The recovery in oil prices also helped bank stocks. The financial sector has struggled this year as investors worried about loans banks made to energy companies, and they've done better recently as the price of oil has recovered. JPMorgan Chase rose 98 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $62.20 and Bank of America gained 33 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $14.32.

SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS: International Flavors & Fragrances, which makes ingredients for the food, cosmetics and consumer products industries, climbed $6.44, or 5.4 percent, to $126.33 after it reported strong results for the first quarter.

MATERIAL GAIN: Companies that make chemicals and other basic materials also rose. Dow Chemical gained 82 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $51.66 and Martin Marietta Materials rose $5.87, or 3.2 percent, to $188.12.

ALLERGAN ADVANCES: The maker of Botox and other medicines said it will buy back up to $10 billion in stock with proceeds from sale of its generic drug business, planned for later this year. The stock jumped $8.14, or 3.8 percent, to $221.85 after it rose 6 percent on Monday.

MIND THE GAP: Retailer Gap reported April sales were far weaker than expected as its recent struggles appeared to get worse. The parent of Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic forecast a smaller profit than analysts had projected, and Gap said it is considering options for its overseas business. The stock fell $2.71, or 12.4 percent, to $19.10, and it's trading at its lowest price since early 2012.

SUNDOWN: SolarCity reported a larger first-quarter loss than Wall Street expected and cut its annual projections. The solar panel installer said bookings aren't as strong as it expected and regulations held back its business. The stock shed $5.64, or 25.1 percent, to $16.87.

TIMBERRR: Flooring maker Lumber Liquidators Holdings reported a larger loss and weaker revenue than analysts expected, and its stock gave up $73 cents, or 5.4 percent, to $12.72. The company's sales have fallen for five quarters in the row after some of its Chinese-made laminate flooring was linked to chemicals that can cause cancer.

WORD ON THE STREET: Business information provider Dun & Bradstreet picked up $6.95, or 6.2 percent, to $118.72 after it posted a larger profit than analysts expected.

DEAL-ICIOUS: Milk company Dean Foods disclosed solid first-quarter results and said it bought the ice cream manufacturing and retailing business of Friendly's Ice Cream for $155 million. Its stock dipped 11 cents to $18.10.

YEN WEAKENS: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 2.2 percent as the dollar regained strength, a boon for the nation's exporters. The dollar rose to 109.20 yen from 108.48 yen. The dollar has been very strong in recent years but has lost a bit of strength compared to the yen in recent months.

JOB OPENINGS: U.S. job openings rose by the largest amount in eight months in March, the Labor Department said, but total hiring slowed down. The agency said job openings grew 2.7 percent to about 5.8 million. However the slower pace of hiring suggests employers were more reluctant to fill open positions as the economy grew at a slow pace.

OVERSEAS: Germany's DAX and Britain's FTSE 100 both gained 0.7 percent. The CAC 40 in France added 0.4 percent. South Korea's Kospi added 0.8 percent and the Shanghai Composite was little changed.

CURRENCIES: Bond yields fell and the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 1.76 percent from 1.75 percent. The euro was little changed at $1.1385.

(KA)