(dpa) - US stocks advanced Friday as oil prices dropped and there was increasing speculation that investment bank Lehman Brothers might attract a major international buyer.
The shares of Lehman jumped 13 per cent after the Korea Investment Bank said it was considering an acquisition.
United Airlines parent company, UAL Corp, witnessed a 12 per cent increase in shares, as crude oil plunged 5.4 per cent - its lowest in four years, Bloomberg financial news agency reported. Crude tumbled 6.59 dollars a barrel, to 114.59 dollars, in New York.
The Wall Street rally was spurred by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's forecast that inflation would ease later this year and in 2009. He did, however, warn that current problems in the financial markets continue to threaten the economy.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 197.85 points, or 1.7 per cent, to 11,628.06. The broad-based Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 14.48 points, or 1.1 per cent, to 1,292.20. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index was up 34.33 points, or 1.4 per cent, to 2,414.71.
The US currency rose to 67.60 euro cents from 67.11 euro cents on Thursday, and to 110.05 Japanese yen from 108.49 yen.
Gold closed at 833.50 dollars per fine ounce from 839 dollars on Thursday.