10:25 AM New York – U.S. stocks traded higher after jobless claims declined. The euro edged up after the EU leaders appear to endorse bilateral loans and support from the IMF for Greece. Dubai government offered $9.5 billion support to Dubai World, easing concerns of a default.
Investor jitters subsided after Germany appears to support the Greek bailout package with conditions. Dubai government also offered $9.5 billion in assistance to support Dubai World.
European leaders appear to reach an agreement to offer financial assistance to Greece with the help of the IMF. Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters in Brussels that bilateral loans from EU member nations and the IMF will provide a financial guarantee to Greece.
He added that Greece many need this assistance because the nation has a “credible” deficit reduction plan and financial markets “will eventually see that.”
Seasonally adjusted weekly jobless claims decreased 14,000 to 442,000 from the revised previous week claims of 456,000. The preliminary insured unemployment rate in the week ending March 13 was 3.6%, unchanged from the prior week''s unrevised rate.
U.S. Treasuries gained after trading the U.S. Treasury completed the sale of of five-year bonds and is scheduled to offer $32 billion of seven year notes.
UK retail sales in February increased 2.1% according to the latest data released by the Office for National Statistics. Economists were anticipating an increase of 0.7%.
Commodities, Currencies and Bonds
Crude oil futures increased 64 cents to $81.25 a barrel and natural gas futures declined 3 cents to $4.07 per mBtu.
Gold futures increased $3.80 to $1,092 an ounce and copper futures increased 90 cents to $3.3545 per pound.
The euro recovered from a 10-month low and advanced against the dollar to $1.3326 and against the Japanese yen to 92.51.
Yields on 10-year U.S. bonds traded down to 3.84% and 30-year bonds at 4.73%.
Best Buy Co. soared to 7% after it reported sales and earnings ahead of market expectations.
Citigroup Inc gained 3% after media reports suggested that the U.S. Treasury will begin the sale of its 27% stake in the bank on a pre-determined schedule.
Caterpillar Inc increased 1.3% and the earth moving equipment maker said it will take charge of $100 million for higher healthcare costs according to a regulatory filing.
Deere & Co. increased 1.2% and said that its added healthcare costs will be $150 million after the passage of healthcare reform bill.
ConAgra Foods Inc declined more than 2% after it reported third quarter sales of $3.1 billion.
White Mountains Insurance Group Ltd declined a fraction after it reported an estimate of pre-tax loss related to Chilean earthquake between $40 million and $105 million.