NEW YORK – Stocks rallied Thursday after a record Treasury auction pushed bond yields lower, raising hopes that interest rates will follow and allaying fears that foreign investors would move away from U.S. debt.
Wall Street was also helped by lower oil prices and sheer momentum, as the Standard & Poor's 500 passed a price ceiling that usually triggers selling.
For the most part, however, the news that sent stocks soaring in late afternoon was nearly identical to the news that sent stocks sideways in the morning.
"We were scratching our heads," said Brian Williamson, an equity trader at The Boston Company Asset Management, a Mellon subsidiary.
Falling oil prices, which were a downward force for stocks in the morning as energy stocks fell, helped send stocks higher in the afternoon, with retail stocks rising as worries about consumer spending were temporarily forgotten.
According to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 93.89, or 0.89 percent, to 10,640.10. In late afternoon trading, the index was up more than 100 points.
Broader stock indicators were also higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 10.31, or 0.84 percent, to 1,230.96, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 20.87, or 0.96 percent, to 2,196.68.