Banks Raise Stocks Early

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are climbing Wednesday morning, recovering some of the ground they lost the day before, as investors hope Italy might be able to avoid a new round of elections. Banks are rising along with bond yields after outsize losses a day ago. Big dividend payers are lagging the market, also a reversal from the previous day. European indexes are higher and the euro is rising compared to the dollar.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index gained 13 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,703 as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 115 points, or 0.5 percent, to 24,477. The Nasdaq composite added 32 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,428. The Russell 2000 index leaped 17 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,640, which put the index on pace for another record close. The Russell fare far better than the rest of the market on Tuesday.

ITALY IN FOCUS: Stocks in the U.S. and Europe sank Tuesday as investors worried that Italy would have new elections in a few months and that the vote would become a referendum on whether Italy, the third-largest economy in Europe, would stay in the euro. On Wednesday, premier-designate Carlo Cottarelli said there were "new possibilities" to form a government.

Italy's FTSE MIB stock index climbed 1.8 percent after a 2.7 percent drop a day earlier. Prices for Italian government bonds also rose, sending yields down following a huge surge the day before.

EUROPE: The euro rose to $1.1627 from $1.1531 a day earlier, which was its lowest level in almost a year. The dollar rose to 108.88 yen from 108.24 yen.

Germany's DAX climbed 0.7 percent while the FTSE 100 index in Britain rose 0.3 percent. The CAC 40 in France lost 0.3 percent.

EARNINGS: Wall Street continued to pore over quarterly results from retailers. Dick's Sporting Goods soared 19 percent to $36.26 after it raised its annual profit forecast. Its first-quarter report was better than expected thanks in part to strong online sales. Printer and PC maker HP also raised its profit projections after its earnings and sales surpassed analyst estimates. HP climbed 2.4 percent to $21.81. Watchmaker Movado Group rallied 17.7 percent to $49.68.

Clothing company Chico's FAS plunged 23 percent to $7.69 after its profit fell short of expectations and shoe retailer DSW gave up some of its gains from earlier in the year as it lost 10.4 percent to $23.35. Luxury retailer Michael Kors dropped 11.2 percent to $60.59.

BONDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.83 percent from 2.79 percent.

ENERGY: Energy companies rose as U.S. crude oil climbed 0.7 percent to $67.22 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 1.3 percent to $76.47 a barrel in London.

SURVEY SAYS: A survey by payroll processor ADP said private U.S. businesses added 178,000 jobs in May. That's a solid number even though it's not as many jobs as they added over the winter.

ASIA: Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index dropped 1.5 percent and the Kospi of South Korea dropped 2. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 1.4 percent.

(BE)