Commodities lifts materials and industrial stocks

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By Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Surging prices for metals, oil and other commodities lifted stock prices on Wednesday, especially industrial and materials companies.

Strong corporate earnings reports from JPMorgan Chase & Co., Intel Corp. and railroad operator CSX Corp. also gave investors more reasons to be assured about the economy.

Gold touched another record and oil rose about 2 percent. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. and Newmont Mining Corp. were among the biggest winners.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 102 points in midday trading.

The earnings reports all contained nuggets of hopeful news on the broader economy.

"They were assuring," said Andrew Ross, partner at First New York Securities. "But they weren't inspiring, or disrupting."

Those results allowed the market to continue the upward trajectory it has taken in recent weeks, Ross said. The Dow is up 3.1 percent in October and has jumped more than 11 percent since the beginning of September.

JPMorgan's CEO Jamie Dimon predicted credit card defaults are likely to fall next quarter. Intel predicted sales should remain consistent through the end of the year as customers switch from back-to-school shopping to the holiday season. CSX saw a big jump in shipments of cars and trucks.

The Dow rose 102.44, or 0.9 percent, to 11,122.84 in midday trading.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 10.22, or 0.9 percent, to 1,179.99, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 24.82, or 1 percent, to 2,442.74.

Gold rose as high as $1,375.70 an ounce before pulling back to $1,369.80. Benchmark crude oil rose $1.53 to $83.98 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

With traders moving into stocks, bond prices dipped and interest rates rose slightly. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, rose to 2.48 percent from 2.43 percent late Tuesday.

Bond prices have been rising in recent weeks as expectations mount that the Federal Reserve will start buying Treasurys and take other measures to encourage lending. Minutes from the Fed's September meeting released Tuesday afternoon suggest that the central bank is nearing consensus on when and how to take more stimulus measures. Traders are hoping for more specific news after the Fed's meeting in early November.

In an odd twist, stocks have also benefited from the expected move by the Fed because they become more attractive investments over a longer period if bond yields continue to fall.

Freeport-McMoRan rose $3.45, or 3.6 percent, to $98.58, while Newmont jumped 96 cents to $62.96.

CSX shares jumped $2.30, or 4 percent, to $59.56.

JPMorgan Chase shares fell 4 cents to $40.36 and Intel slipped 11 cents to $19.66. Both have seesawed throughout the day.