Stocks Surge,Investors Hopeful on Vote

NEW YORK (AP) -- Global stocks are surging Monday morning as investors grow more hopeful that Britain will remain in the European Union. In the U.S., banks are climbing along with interest rates and energy companies are rising with the price of oil.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 251 points, or 1.4 percent, to 17,926 as of 10:30 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 27 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,098. The Nasdaq composite gained 76 points, or 1.6 percent, to 4,876. Stocks had fallen for six days out of the last seven.

BRITISH VOTE: The latest opinion polls and the betting markets suggest it's more likely Britain will stay in the European Union than leave when citizens vote on the issue Thursday. Investors have worried about the outcome of the vote in recent weeks. The vote is expected to be close.

BANKS BREAK OUT: Bond prices dropped as investors moved money out of ultra-safe assets. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 1.67 percent from 1.61 percent late Friday. That's an encouraging sign for banks since bond yields are used to set interest rates on many kinds of loans including mortgages, and banks will be able to make more money from lending as rates increase. JPMorgan Chase added $1.27, or 2 percent, to $63.55 and Bank of America gained 38 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $13.78.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 91 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $48.89 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 93 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $50.10 a barrel in London. U.S. crude jumped almost 4 percent Friday to break a six-day losing streak.

Among energy stocks, Chevron rose $1.33, or 1.3 percent, to $102.90 and EOG Resources picked up $2.07, or 2.6 percent, to $82.96.

HEAVY METAL: Machinery companies climbed. General Electric rose 45 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $31.05 while aerospace company Boeing added $3.61, or 2.8 percent, to $133.43 and Honeywell advanced $2.08, or 1.8 percent, to $118.

SPECIAL DELIVERY: FedEx rose after the federal government moved to dismiss charges against the shipping company. Prosecutors had planned to charge FedEx with knowingly delivering illegal prescription drugs to dealers and addicts, but late Friday the government dropped the case. The trial was set to begin Monday. FedEx jumped $3.58, or 2.2 percent, to $165.83.

THUMBS UP: A strong opening weekend for its film "Finding Dory" sent Disney higher. The Pixar sequel grossed $136 million in North American theaters. That was more than analysts expected and the most for an animated movie. Disney stock climbed $1.52, or 1.5 percent, to $100.52.

ALL THAT GLITTERS: Gold prices have rallied recently but lost almost 1 percent Monday morning. Newmont Mining fell 65 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $35.

OVERSEAS: Britain's FTSE 100 leaped 2.9 percent and France's CAC 40 rose 3.3 percent. Germany's DAX rocketed 3.4 percent higher. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index surged 2.3 percent. South Korea's Kospi climbed 1.4 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.7 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 104.48 yen from 104.23 yen and the euro rose to $1.1347 from $1.1275. The pound jumped to $1.4647 from $1.4375.