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Market Update

Wall Street Stocks Extend Weekly Gains, Oil Advances

Author: Nichole Harper
Last Update: 1:52 PM ET December 19 2014

1:50 PM New York – Stocks were steady after the last two-day surge of 4.5% in market indexes on Wall Street. Oil price rebounded 3% and gold edged up. Russian ruble rose to level below 60 against one dollar and European markets closed higher as Greece prepares for snap election.

Stocks on Wall Street were steady after the best two-day gains in three years leading to a global markets rally.

U.S. indexes are set to register weekly gain of 3% and markets in Europe and in Asia closed higher today and extended gains in the week.

The S&P 500 index soared 4.5% in the last two sessions and wiped out nearly 90% loss in the previous ten days of sell-off that began on December 5.

On Wall Street trading, Tollbooth Strategy Index slid 0.2% or 24.66 to 9,976.63.

S&P 500 index rose 2.59 or 0.1% to 2,063.82 and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 6.67 or 0.1% to 4,754.94.

The price of future for the immediate month delivery increased 3% to $56.34 a barrel and gold edged up 0.2% to $1,196.70.

The ruble rebounded 5% to 59.19 to a dollar after demand for the currency rose as investors looked to invest in Russia after the central bank dramatically lifted interest rate to 17%.

U.S. Movers

BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY), the Canada-based mobile company said revenues in the third-quarter ending in November plunged 33.4% to $976 million from a year ago period.

Net loss in the quarter narrowed to $148 million or 28 cents a diluted share compared to $4.40 billion or $8.37 from a same quarter last year.

Cintas Corporation (CTAS), the uniform and other cleaning services provider stated total revenues in the second-quarter ending were flat at $1.12 billion from a year ago.

Net income in the quarter surged 41.9% to $120.4 million or $1 a diluted share compared to $84.9 million or 70 cents from a same quarter last year.

Paychex, Inc (PAYX), the outsourcing service provider reported revenues in the second-quarter climbed 10% to $676.3 million from a year ago period.

Net income in the quarter jumped 9% to $173 million or 47 cents a diluted share compared to $158.7 million or 43 cents from a same quarter last year.

European Markets

In London trading, FTSE 100 index jumped 1.1% or 71.64 to 6,537.64 and in Frankfurt the DAX index fell 0.4% or 34.93 to 9,776.13.

In Paris, CAC 40 index slid 0.2% or 10.70 to 4,238.79.

In the European corporate news, Atos agreed to acquire Xerox’s IT outsourcing business for $1.05 billion. Air France KLM issued its third profit alert this year. Alstom dropped as voters reject the asset sell plan to GE. Promethean World reduced revenue forecast. Roche suspended its two clinical trials.

Atos SE climbed 4.5% to €62.57 after the France-based information technology provider agreed to acquire U.S.-based Xerox Corporation’s IT outsourcing business for $1.05 billion in cash.

Air France KLM SA tumbled 8.6% to €7.59 after the France-based airline lowered its EBITDA forecast to €200 million or $250 million, mainly due to weak unit revenues and the effects of a 14-day pilot strike.

The airline issued its third profit alert this year.

BASF SE slipped 1.5% to €69.60 and the Germany-based chemical maker and Russian gas pipeline systems operator Gazprom Oao agreed not to complete the asset swap and plan to exit a low-margin gas-trading business generating €12 billion $14.7 billion.

Asian Markets

Market indexes in Japan closed up 2.4% and for the week, the Nikkei index gained 1.4%. The yen resumed its downward decline and flirted with 120 mark against one dollar.

Stocks in Tokyo rallied following a surge in Asian markets after the U.S. and European markets extended gains for the second day in a row.

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc