Stocks rise as oil drops, Merrill eases credit concerns

Business Materials 25 April 2008 03:25 (UTC +04:00)

US stocks were up Thursday as oil fell the most in a month and Merrill Lynch eased speculation about its capital holdings.

Crude oil dropped 1.9 per cent to 116.06 dollars per barrel in New York trading and the dollar climbed against the euro after reaching a record low on Monday, the dpa reported.

Brokerage firm Merrill said it had the capital to maintain its share dividend despite the ongoing credit crisis, which has prompted sharp writedowns of mortgage-related assets at investment banks in the US and Europe.

Shares of carmaker Ford Motor Co and technology giant Apple Inc climbed after the two companies posted better-than-expected first- quarter profits.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 85.73 points, or 0.67 per cent, to 12,848.95. The broader Standard & Poor 500 Index was up 8.89 points, or 0.64 per cent, to 1,388.82. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 23.71 points, or 0.99 per cent, to 2,428.92.

The dollar rose against the euro to 63.77 euro cents from 62.96 euro cents on Wednesday, and to 104.24 Japanese yen from 103.44 yen.

Gold fell 19.60 dollars to 889.40 dollars per fine ounce.