US stocks rise sharply following big gains in Europe, Asia

FILE - In this Monday, Aug. 8, 2011 file photo, a pedestrian walks past the New York Stock Exchange in New York. U.S. stocks are rising in early trading Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015, following big gains in Asia and Europe as major indexes head toward their worst quarterly close in four years. (AP Photo/Jin Lee, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are rising in morning trading Wednesday following big gains in Asia and Europe, but major indexes are still heading for their worst quarterly close in four years. Many stock benchmarks around the world have also lost ground in the third quarter, weighed down by weak growth in major economies and the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average gained 232 points, or 1.5 percent, to 16,281 as of 10:54 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 30 points, or 1.6 percent, to 1,914. The Nasdaq composite climbed 91 points, or 2 percent, to 4,608.

LIFT AT LAUREN: Ralph Lauren jumped $11.87, or 11.4 percent, to $115.92 after the company named a new CEO to replace its founder. The new CEO, Stefan Larsson, will leave his current job as global president of Gap’s low-price Old Navy chain. Gap fell $2.15, or 7 percent, to $28.07.

DEAL MOVE: Western Digital surged $10.33, or 15 percent, to $79.19 after the digital storage company agreed to a $3.8 billion investment from China’s Unisplendour Corp.

ENERGY BOOST: Chesapeake Energy rose 26 cents, or 3.8 percent, to $7.05 after announcing that it would cut 15 percent of its workforce.

BAD QUARTER: The Dow Jones industrial average has fallen 7.8 percent in the past three months. The S&P 500 is off 7.4 percent so far, heading for its worst quarterly close in four years.

JOBS WATCH: Investors are waiting for jobs data out Friday for clues about when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates. Policymakers have said they will likely raise rates before the end of the year. On Wednesday, U.S. payroll processor ADP reported that U.S. employers added 200,000 jobs this month, up from 180,000 in the previous month.

EUROPE RISING: Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 2.2 percent, France’s CAC 40 jumped 2.6 percent and Germany’s DAX gained 2.2 percent. The worst performing of those indexes, the DAX, is down 11.8 percent for the July-September quarter.

JAPAN HOPE: The Nikkei 225 surged 2.7 percent on expectations of more monetary and fiscal stimulus following weakness in recent economic data. Domestic demand is tepid in the world’s third-biggest economy and China’s slowdown has crimped Japanese exports.

THE QUOTE: “The real question is not if more stimulus may be expected,” said Mizuho Bank analysts in a daily note, “but rather, how much stimulus will be rolled out, and when.”

ASIA’S DAY: China’s Shanghai Composite Index was 0.5 percent higher; it has lost 29 percent in the past three months. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 1.4 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 2.1 percent. South Korea’s stock market finished 1 percent higher.

ENERGY: Benchmark crude rose 15 cents to $49.79 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent Crude, a benchmark for international oils, added 29 cents to $49.13 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The euro weakened to $1.1166. The dollar rose to 119.74 yen.

BONDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.06 percent from 2.05 percent the day before.

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