Stocks snap six-day losing streak; VIX falls
The Dow gained about 75 points, as stocks closed higher for the first time in June
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Also on the tech front, Intel announced "multi-million" investments in two Russian online firms, in a fresh sign of investor confidence in growth prospects of internet businesses.Skip to next paragraph
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Meanwhile, JPMorgan lowered its PC and tablet forecasts for 2011, due to an uncertain growth profile in China and weakness in global consumption. The firm warned companies including Nvidia, Micron, Seagate and Western Digital.
JM Smucker gained after the maker of Jif peanut butter posted better-than-expected results and forecast strong sales, as the company continues to raise prices of its brands without putting off shoppers.
National Semiconductor is slated to post earnings after-the-bell Thursday.
In IPO news, Fusion-io skyrocketed in their market debut, underscoring investors' hot interest in tech start-ups. But Taomee slumped as U.S.-listed Chinese companies are being put under more scrutiny following a handful of accounting scandals.
Oil prices gained after OPEC failed to reach agreement over increasing production, with U.S. light, sweet crude rose $1.19, or 1.18 percent, to settle at $101.93 a barrel, while London Brent crude climbed over $118. Gold advanced to settle at $1,542.70 an ounce.
Treasury prices extended losses after the government auctioned $13 billion in 30-year bonds, which had a high yield of 4.238 percent and a bid-to-cover of 2.63.
In the day's economic news, the U.S. trade deficit narrowed unexpectedly to $43.7 billion in April from a revised estimate of $46.8 billion as exports rose to a new record, according to the commerce department. Analysts expected the April trade gap to widen to $48.8 billion.
And wholesale inventories rose less than expected in April, but seemed enough to boost investor confidence and stocks.
Meanwhile, initial claims for state jobless benefits increased to 427,000, the Labor Department reported. The rise kept first-time claims perched above the 400,000 mark for the ninth week in a row. Analysts normally associate a level below that with steady job growth. Economists expected claims to drop to 415,000.
The greenback gained against the euro after the ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet signaled a rate hike next month that already had been widely expected, leaving little room for further upside in the single currency.
European shares rose sharply, bouncing from six days of losses, as investors snapped up beaten-down stocks, notably those related to commodities. Meanwhile, Greece's Cabinet backed a new round of austerity measures that are essential for the debt-ridden country to continue receiving funds from its international bailout.