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Overnight Markets: Oil rebound fuels Wall Street rally

Energy companies notched the sharpest gains among S&P 500 stocks, with the index’s energy sector rising 4.5%.

Overnight Markets: Oil rebound fuels Wall Street rally

US stocks staged a sharp rebound on Thursday, with the S&P 500 posting its strongest gain in a month, led by energy and healthcare stocks as oil reclaimed ground after testing 12-year lows.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 228 points, or 1.41%, to 16,379, the S&P 500 gained 32 points, or 1.67%, to 1,922 and the Nasdaq Composite added 89 points, or 1.97%, to 4,615.

Some of this year’s hardest-hit shares, from oil producers to miners to biotechnology stocks, led the rally as oil prices recovered and investors sniffed out bargains.

Energy companies notched the sharpest gains among S&P 500 stocks, with the index’s energy sector rising 4.5%.

Natural-gas transportation company Williams Cos. soared 34% and was the top performer in the S&P 500. Its shares fell 18% Wednesday.

Oil giants Chevron and Exxon Mobil were the Dow’s top gainers. Chevron rose 5.1%, while Exxon rose 4.6%.

Health-care companies also had their strongest advance in more than four months to recover from their biggest slide since 29 September.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. climbed more than 5.7%. Amgen Inc. surged 5.3%.

Consumer discretionary stocks rose with Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. and CBS Corp. increasing more than 3.7%.

Intel fell 3.7% after the chipmaker predicted first-quarter sales that will fall short of some estimates, held back by the continued slump in demand for personal computers. Citigroup Inc. and BlackRock Inc. are due to report results today.

On the negative side, electronics retailer Best Buy Co. fell as much as 12% and closed with the biggest retreat in a year after reporting its third drop in holiday sales in four years.

GoPro Inc. plummeted 15% to its lowest since going public in June 2014, after news of disappointing holiday sales and job cuts.

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