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    03.02.2016 21:12 U.S. stocks closed

    U.S. stocks rose as commodity producers rallied with crude oil, overshadowing an earlier selloff among banks and technology shares amid concerns that weakness in global growth is spreading.

    The Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed 0.5 percent to 1,912.60 at 4 p.m. in New York, after erasing an earlier drop of 1.6 percent.

    Equities lurched between gains and losses today as economic data rekindled worries about the strength of U.S. growth, while a tumble in the dollar helped send oil rocketing higher and boosted commodity producers.

    A report today showed service industries expanded in January at the slowest pace in nearly two years, raising the risk that persistent weakness in manufacturing is starting to spread to the rest of the U.S. economy. The services slowdown comes as investors are on guard for signs that weakness in China is spilling over.

    A separate reading today showed U.S. companies added a stronger-than-forecast 205,000 workers to payrolls in January. Focus will begin to shift to the government's January employment report Friday, which is estimated to show the economy added 190,000 jobs, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

    The equity benchmark halted a two-day slide to start the month, with U.S. stocks coming off their worst January since 2009 as concerns about a slowdown in China and plummeting commodity prices unnerved investors. The S&P 500 is 10 percent below its all-time high set in May.

    With the U.S. earnings season about midway through, some 80 percent of companies in the S&P 500 that have reported beat profit estimates, but less than half posted better-than-expected sales. Analysts estimate earnings at index members fell 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter, better than Jan. 15 predictions for a 7 percent slump.


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