Texas Instruments climbed 5.5 percent, while Travelers added 4.6 percent. American Express Co., the biggest U.S. credit-card company by purchases, gained 4.6 percent after fourth-quarter profit topped the most pessimistic estimates. Asia’s benchmark index climbed the most in six weeks as Japan signaled it may buy stakes in companies and Australia pledged money for a commercial property fund.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.6 percent to 841.43 as of 9:35 a.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 31.62 points, or 0.4 percent, to 8,147.65. The Russell 2000 Index increased 0.8 percent.
European stocks rebounded from a two- month low, sending the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index to the biggest gain in three weeks, as Barclays Plc and ING Groep NV reassured investors they are taking steps to stem credit-related losses.
Barclays rallied 73 percent after saying record revenue” will cover writedowns. ING climbed 28 percent on plans to slash costs by 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in 2009. Royal Philips Electronics NV rose 8.3 percent as Europe’s largest maker of consumer electronics maintained its dividend.
The Stoxx 600 added 5.57, or 3.1 percent, to 188.06, the steepest advance since Jan. 2. The measure has slumped 48 percent since the beginning of last year as financial firms racked up more than $1 trillion in credit losses and writedowns and the U.S., Japan and Europe entered the first simultaneous recessions since World War II.
Japanese stocks soared, sending the Topix index up the most in 12 weeks, on expectations government and central bank measures will benefit companies short on funding, and as U.S. data eased concern consumer spending will worsen. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 378.93, or 4.9 percent, to close at 8,061.07 in Tokyo, its first gain in three days and trimming the gauge’s drop this year to 9 percent.
National benchmark indexes advanced in all 18 western European markets. Germany’s DAX increased 3.5 percent, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 jumped 3.9 percent. France’s CAC 40 added 3.7 percent as BNP Paribas SA rallied.