The Dow Jones Industrial Average erased its 2016 losses, as a weaker dollar spurred a rally in commodity producers and industrial shares that spread to the broader U.S. stock market.
Equities pushed to the highest levels since the end of last year as a gamut of companies that benefit from a lower U.S. currency, from General Electric Co. to Coca-Cola Co., surged. A scaled-back pace of interest-rate increases from the Federal Reserve sent the dollar spiraling lower, helping the Dow extend a rebound of more than 11 percent from a two-year low reached last month.
A five-week rally has eradicated declines in the Dow and S&P 500 that were fed by concerns a slowdown in China would spread, worries that were intensified by a deepening rout in oil and other commodity prices. Energy, raw-material shares and banks have led the rebound as crude recovered, lifting sentiment on lenders amid reduced anxiety about the solvency of some energy producers.
Caterpillar Inc. rallied Thursday with commodity shares, even after cutting its first-quarter outlook amid speculation the worst is behind the company. FedEx Corp. jumped nearly 11 percent after raising the bottom of its full-year earnings forecast range. Health-care shares sank for a fourth session, the longest since January.