US stocks open higher and head for 5th week of gains

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are rising in Friday morning trading, putting them on track to extend a winning streak that has erased most of this year’s early losses. Banks are trading higher on new stock buybacks, and Starwood Hotels and Columbia Pipeline Group are rising on sale talks.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 101 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,582 as of 10:03 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained eight points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,048, and it is now up slightly for the year. The Nasdaq composite rose six points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,781.

OIL: U.S. crude rose 76 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $40.96 a barrel in New York. U.S. crude closed over $40 per barrel Thursday for the first time since early December. The international standard, Brent crude, added 80 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $42.34 a barrel in London.

PIPELINE FLOWING: Columbia Pipeline Group climbed after TransCanada Corp. agreed to buy the company for $10 billion, or $25.50 per share, in an attempt to expand further into the U.S. Columbia Pipeline stock advanced $1.49, or 6.3 percent, to $25 a share.

ACROBATIC: Adobe Systems, the software developer behind Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat reported better-than-expected results for the fiscal first quarter and raised its annual forecasts. The stock jumped $4.04, or 4.5 percent, to $94.

TAKE IT TO THE BANK: JPMorgan Chase said it will buy back another $1.88 billion in stock, while Bank of America announced an $800 million stock repurchase. Chase stock rose $1.92, or 3.3 percent, to $60.67 and Bank of America shares picked up 38 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $13.78.

The stocks are also getting a boost as oil prices rise. As energy prices tumbled, investors worried that some bank loans to energy companies wouldn’t get paid back. Wells Fargo gained 95 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $50.68 and Citigroup edged up 99 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $43.84.

NEW RESERVATION: Starwood Hotels climbed $3.51, or 4.6 percent, to $79.90 after the company said it accepted a new buyout offer from a group led by Anbang Insurance Group of China. The bid is worth more than $14 billion. Competitor Marriott, which agreed to buy Starwood last year, said it is considering its options and noted it has the right to make another offer.

Marriott stock rose $1.37, or 1.9 percent, to $73.17.

RALLY CAPS: Stocks are on track to rise for the fifth week in a row, and those gains have wiped out their big losses from earlier in the year. The Dow and the S&P have both jumped about 12 percent since they hit annual lows Feb. 11. The price of U.S. crude is up more than 50 percent since then as investors have hoped production will slow down and demand won’t collapse.

OVERSEAS: Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent and Germany’s DAX was unchanged. France’s CAC 40 added 0.1 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.3 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.8 percent. The Shanghai Composite index in mainland China rose 1.7 percent.

BONDS AND CURRENCIES: Bond prices rose and the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note dipped to 1.89 percent from 1.90 percent. The euro fell to $1.1292 from $1.1316. The dollar was little changed at 111.49 yen after closing at 111.50 yen Thursday.


AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at His work can be found at