Financial companies’ optimism help stocks rise
by Steve Rothwell
The Associated Press
December 06, 2012 12:00 AM | 730 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
NEW YORK — Stocks were higher on Wall Street Wednesday as gains for financial companies and optimism about the Chinese economy offset news that U.S. businesses added fewer jobs last month.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 113 points to 13,065 as of 12:32 p.m. The Standard and Poor’s 500 was up 6 points to 1,412. The Nasdaq composite was down 11 points to 2,985, held back by Apple.

Citigroup jumped $2.09 to $36.39 after the bank said it plans to eliminate more than 11,000 jobs, or about 4 percent of its workforce, to cut expenses and improve efficiency. Travelers surged $3.27 to $73.86 after it announced plans to resume stock buybacks. Travelers temporarily suspended repurchases following Superstorm Sandy while it assessed its exposure to damage claims.

Apple was among the decliners, falling $24.50 to $551.30. Stifel Financial analyst Aaron Rakers said the drop was in part due to comments from AT&T Mobility chief executive officer Ralph de La Vega, which suggested that smartphone activations this quarter were lagging the same period a year ago. The stock has now dropped more than 20 percent since closing at a record $702.10 in September.

Large energy stocks turned higher around midday, following an early rally in smaller energy companies. Chevron and Exxon Mobil were among the biggest gainers in the Dow average, accounting for 20 points of the Dow’s rise. Chevron rose $1.69 to $105.65 and Exxon rose $1.06 to $88.25.
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