Jan 31, 2016

Davos World Economic Forum - January 31, 2016: Global Science Outlook.

Davos 2016 - Global Science Outlook

World Economic Forum World Economic Forum

Published on Jan 31, 2016
What are the top issues on the global science agenda and how will they be addressed in the year ahead?

The Guardian | Business | Economics | Chinese Economy - January 31, 2016 - February 1, 2016 (02::48 GMT): China Manufacturing Sector Shrinks at Fastest Rate for More Than Three Years.

Activity in China’s manufacturing sector contracted at its fastest pace in almost three-and-a-half years in January, missing market expectations, an official survey showed on Monday.

The Guardian | Tech | Google - January 31, 2016: Google Tax Deal "Not a Glorious Momment", Says Minister by Rajessv Syal.


Rajeev Syal
A senior government minister has admitted the tax settlement between Google and the UK government “was not a glorious moment”.

Asian Markets at Open by CNBC - January 31, 2016: Asia Markets Open Higher After BOJ Surprise Move.

Saheli Roy Choudhury
Yoshikazu Tsuno | AFP | Getty Images
Asia markets opened higher, extending gains on Monday, after the Bank of Japan (BOJ) surprise move into negative interest rates sent stocks higher on Friday from Tokyo to New York.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was up 1.38 percent while the Topix gained 1.60 percent after market open. Across the Korean strait, the Kospi was up 0.63 percent.

The Guardian | Opinion | Google - January 31, 2016: Can Google's AlphaGo Really Feel It in Its Algorythm by Jphn Naugton

John Naughton
Last week, researchers at the artificial intelligence company DeepMind, which is now owned by Google, announced an extraordinary breakthrough: in October last, a DeepMind computing system called AlphaGo had defeated the reigning European champion player of the ancient Chinese game go by five games to nil. The victory was announced last week in a paper published in the scientific journal Nature.

The Guardian | World | US | Elections 2016 - January 31, 2016: Frenzy in Iowa as Clinton and Trump Go Into Caucuses Leading Key Poll.

Ben Jacobs
The likely next president of the United States appeared on stage in Iowa on Saturday night as huge crowds of enthusiastic supporters were joined by rock stars, televangelists and duck hunters in a frenzy of political campaigning.

Jan 30, 2016

The Guardian | World | Australia | Western Australia - January 30. 2016 - January 31(1:01 GMT): Tropical Cyclone Stan Weakens as it Crosses Pilbara Coast in Western Australia


A town on West Australia’s Pilbara coast has been spared the worst of Cyclone Stan as it failed to reach the predicted category three strength overnight.
The cyclone crossed at the Pardoo roadhouse, east Pilbara coast at 2am and was on Sunday morning moving inland in a south-easterly direction.
It was still classified as a category two cyclone and was moving about 18km/h.
Residents living between Port Hedland and Wallal, including Pardoo, Wallal, Eighty Mile and Marble Bar, were still on red alert, with WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services warning a threat to lives and homes still existed.
People living in the cyclone’s path have been told to shelter in the strongest part of their home and stay away from windows and doors until the all-clear sign was sounded by authorities.
Tropical cyclone meteorologist Joe Courtney said it was fortunate that Cyclone Stan did not intensify into a more severe cyclone overnight.
“We believe it was a category two. Fortunately, it didn’t intensify to become a severe cyclone,” he said.
“The primary threat is mainly rainfall, and fortunately it will avoid most of the major river system of the Pilbara.”
While Pardoo, a roadhouse tavern and cattle station on the Great Northern Highway, was expected to be the worst hit, Courtney said the strongest winds occurred east of Pardoo and there was no major damage reported from the community.
“They’re very resilient people out there,” he said. “They’ve had category four and five cyclones come through in recent history, so a category two cyclone shouldn’t cause any significant damage for those areas.”
However, potential for heavy rain still remained, with widespread rainfall between 50mm and 100mm expected to fall near the cyclone.
Courtney said current wind gusts of up to 130km/h near the centre would weaken to about 110km/h later on Sunday morning, progressively easing as the day goes on.
Stan is the first cyclone of the Australian season, which begins officially on 1 November each year.
Temporary evacuation centres have been set up at Karratha and South Hedland.

RT Max Keiser Report - January 30, 2016: Tumbling, Fumbling Ruble (Special Moscow Series, E869)

Keiser Report: Tumbling, Fumbling Ruble (special Moscow series, E869)

Published on Jan 30, 2016
Check Keiser Report website for more: http://www.maxkeiser.com/

In this episode of the Keiser Report coming to you from Moscow, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss whether or not the price is right for a ruble? A big mac? A salmon? A barrel of oil? A Deutsche Bank? A Clinton? In the second half, Max interviews Vladimir Rojanovsky, head of research at OK Broker Investment Company, about the ruble’s tumble and what that means for the Russian economy going forward.

The Guardian | World | U.S. - U.S. Elections 2016 - January 30, 2016: Iowa Counts Down to Caucus as Sanders and Clinton Campaign

Scott Bixby

Jan 29, 2016

WSJ | Forex Closing on January 29, 2016.

The Wall Street Journal Forex Closing
Major Currencies
Friday, January 29, 2016

WSJ | Major Indexes Closing on January 29, 2016.

The Wall Street Journal Major Indexes Closing
Major Indexes

DealBook P.M. Edition on January 29, 2016: Top Story Xerox, In Deal With Carl Icahn, to Split Company in Two.

Friday, January 29, 2016
Xerox, in Deal With Carl Icahn, to Split Company in Two In an agreement with Mr. Icahn, the activist investor, Xerox said it would spin off its services business by the end of the year.

WSJ | Biggest Decliners Closing on January 1, 2016.

The Wall Street Journal Biggest Decliners Closing
Biggest Decliners
4:31 pm ET 01/29/2016

WSJ | Biggest Gainers Closing on January 29, 2016.

The Wall Street Journal Biggest Gainers Closing
Biggest Gainers
4:31 pm ET 01/29/2016

WSJ | Most Actives Closing on January 29, 2016.

The Wall Street Journal Most Actives Closing
Most Active Stocks by Volume
4:31 pm ET 01/29/2016

Wall Street at Close Report, by CNBC: Stocks End Up 2% After BOJ Move< Still Worst Month for Nasdaq since 2010


Evelyn Cheng
U.S. stocks closed more than 2 percent higher percent Friday, the last trading day of January, after the Bank of Japan unexpectedly adopted a negative interest rate policy for the first time. Encouraging earnings reports, a better-than-expected Chicago PMI report and some stabilization in oil prices also helped push equities higher.

FTC Press Release January 29, 2016: FTC Approves Final Order Settling Charges that Commercial Trucking Services Company Invited Competitor to Allocate Customers.

FTC@100 Banner

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that Drug Testing Compliance Group, LLC, an Idaho-based company that provides drug and alcohol testing and other services to commercial trucking companies and their drivers, illegally invited one of its competitors to enter into a customer allocation agreement.

CMI Spot Prices as of Close of Trading in New York on January 29, 2016.

Spot Prices as of traditional New York closing times

Friday, January 29, 2016


European Markets at Close Report, by CNBC on January 29, 2016: europe Ends Higher After BOJ DEcision; Earnings Eyed.

Arjun Kharpal, Holly Ellyatt, Alexandra Gibbs
European equities closed higher on Friday as oil prices posted another session of gains and the Bank of Japan surprised global markets by adopting negative interest rates for the first time.
The pan-European STOXX 600 finished up 1.6 percent provisionally. On the week it closed up 0.7 percent provisionally.

U.S. International Trade Commission News Release - January 29, 2016: USITC Institutes Section 337 Investigation of Certain Computing or Graphic Systems, Components Thereof, and Vehicles Containing Same

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain computing or graphic systems, components thereof, and vehicles containing same.  The products at issue in the investigation include semiconductor chips that provide graphics functionality found in certain vehicle computing systems, navigation systems with such semiconductor chips, and vehicles that contain certain types of computing or graphic systems.

SEC Press Release - January 29, 2016: SEC Announces Agenda for February 2 Meeting of the Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee

SEC Seal

The Securities and Exchange Commission will hold the third meeting of the Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee on February 2, beginning at 9:30 a.m. EST.  The Commission established the advisory committee to provide a formal mechanism through which the Commission can receive advice and recommendations on equity market structure issues.
The meeting will focus on the events of August 24, 2015 and certain issues affecting customers in the current equity market structure.
The meeting will be held at the SEC’s headquarters at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C., and is open to the public.  It also will be webcast live on the SEC’s website, www.sec.gov, and will be archived on the website for later viewing.
Members of the public who wish to provide their views on the matters to be considered by the advisory committee may submit comments electronically or on paper.  Please submit comments using one method only.  Information that is submitted will become part of the public record of the meeting.
Electronic submissions:
Use of the SEC’s Internet submission form or send an e-mail to rule-comments@sec.gov
Paper submissions:
Send paper submissions in triplicate to Brent Fields, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549-1090.
All submissions should refer to File Number 265-29, and the file number should be included on the subject line if e-mail is used.
  9:30 a.m.       Welcoming Remarks
  • Chair White, Commissioners, and Director of the Division of Trading and Markets Stephen Luparello
10:00 a.m.       Presentation on Market Volatility by SEC staff
10:10 a.m.       Presentation and Q&A on Market Volatility
  • Stacey Cunningham, Chief Operating Officer, NYSE
  • Hubert De Jesus, Co-Head Market Structure & Electronic Trading, BlackRock
  • Frank Hatheway, Chief Economist, NASDAQ
  • Paul O’Donnell, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley
11:00 a.m.       Committee Discussion on Market Volatility
12:00 p.m.       Lunch
 1:00 p.m.         Presentation on Customer Issues by SEC staff
 1:10 p.m.         Presentation and Q&A on Customer Issues
  • Jeffrey Brown, Senior VP-Legislative & Regulatory Affairs, Charles Schwab
  • Frank Childress, Managing Director, Wells Fargo Advisors
  • Dennis Dick, Member - Capital Markets Policy Council, CFA Institute
  • Christine Parlour, Professor of Finance & Accounting, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
 2:00 p.m.         Committee Discussion on Customer Issues
 3:00 p.m.         Break
 3:15 p.m.         Subcommittee Updates
 4:15 p.m.         Discussion of Next Steps/Adjournment

 SEC Announces Agenda for February 2 Meeting of the Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee

BEA News Release - January 29, 2015: Real GDP Increased at an annual rate of 0.7% in Q4 2015.

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH on January 29, 2016: Yen Slides After Bank of japan Stuns Markets With Negative Rates

Bureau of Labor Statistics News Release - January 29, 2016: Compensation Costs up 0.6% Sept. 2015-Dec2016 and up 2.0 over the year ending December.

Reuters | Deals - January 29, 2016: Xerox to Split into Two, Icahn to Get Board Seats in One.

Xerox Corp (XRX.N) said it would split into two companies, one holding its legacy hardware operations and the other its business process outsourcing unit, in which activist investor Carl Icahn will get three board seats.

NYT First Draft On Politics - January 29, 2016: The Man Who Wasn’t There.

Friday, January 29, 2016

The New York Times

NYTimes.com/FirstDraft »

The New York Times

Friday, January 29, 2016

Supporters of Senator Ted Cruz of Texas attended a debate watch party on Thursday night in Des Moines.
Supporters of Senator Ted Cruz of Texas attended a debate watch party on Thursday night in Des Moines. Eric Thayer for The New York Times
The Man Who Wasn’t There
Good Friday morning. The final Republican debate before the Iowa caucuses came with the usual so-called undercard forum, live analysis and fact checks. But what it didn’t have was its regular central figure.

Bloomberg View - January 29, 2016: Cruz on The Spot, Rubio on the Hunt.


Jonathan Bernstein
If Thursday night's Republican debate had any effect,  it will have been on Ted Cruz, who has been fading a bit in Iowa polling. He still sits within striking range of Donald Trump, but also may have lost some ground to Marco Rubio.

U.S. Stock Market Future Indications by MarketWatch - January 29, 2016: Dow Futures Leap After Surprise BOJ Move, Joining in Global Rally.


Victor Reklaitis
U.S. stock futures pointed early Friday to sizable gains at the open, putting the market on track to join in a global rally after a surprise Bank of Japan decision.

DealBook Today-s Top Headlines - January 29, 2016: Xerox Planning Spinoff | Puerto Rico Debt Negotiations Resume | Record Loss Means No Bonuses for Deutsche Bank Managers | Bank of Japan Moves to Negative Interest Rates

Friday, January 29, 2016
XEROX PLANNING SPINOFF Xerox has agreed to spin off its services business to its shareholders by the end of the year, separating it from the legacy hardware side, Leslie Picker and Liz Moyer report in DealBook. A person briefed on the decision said that a large part of the spinoff would incorporate Affiliated Computer Services, the business outsourcing company that Xerox bought for $6.4 billion in 2010.

The Guardian | UK | Media | Media Briefing - January 29, 2016: Today'sorFrom The Papers.


Today's media stories from the papers

Top story on MediaGuardian

James Murdoch returns as Sky chairman
Rupert Murdoch’s younger son stepped down from the pay-TV group in 2012 in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal

Top comment on MediaGuardian

Rupert Murdoch is no powerless taxpayer against Google
Jane Martinson: The mogul has lambasted Downing Street for yielding to lobbying over tax – but he himself is a political player with business reasons to attack the search giant

Today’s headlines

The GuardianEU set to step in over Google tax deal row. P14-15
Facebook to add emoji options to ‘like’ button. P16
John Harris: We are truly addicted to Google, but that can change. P38
Daily TelegraphEuropean Commission to investigate if Google tax deal counts as ‘state aid’. P10
BT secures £100m BBC network contract. Business P1
Daily Mail raises cover price after sharp fall in advertising. Business P8
Financial TimesBrexit hunt for expats takes to Twitter. P2
Five programmes for change to help secure the future for Channel 4. P4
Brussels pledges to probe UK-Google agreement. P6
Facebook flexes muscles over digital advertising. P17
Daily Mail owner hit by fall in advertising. P21 Comment P14
The TimesOsborne’s ‘Google tax’ does not tax ... Google. P1,12
BBC News and BBC World channels expected to merge. P4
Daily Mail raises cover price after online fails to plug gap. P49
The IndependentMinister blames media-savvy rebels for Saudi bomb stories. P4
Brussels to investigate Osborne’s Google tax deal. P8
Radio 1 picks algorithm expert as its new head of music. P11
iFacebook to offer five ‘Like’ alternatives. P2
Google tax deal faces EU scrutiny. P5
Radio 1 picks algorithm expert as its new head of music. P19
Wall Street JournalItaly seeks back taxes from Google. P1,6
Daily MailOsborne insists Google’s tax deal IS a real success. P4
BBC’S Charlotte Moore, her cameraman husband and how his firm made a fortune ... from BBC. P11
Diary: Don’t give cash to BBC, Esther Rantzen tells pensioners. P36
DMGT’s revenues rise to £500m. P73
Daily ExpressRihanna makes new album free for fans. P20
The Sun
Taxman caves in over Google. P9
UK cinemas made a record £1.2bn last year. P15
War and Peace coverage. P39
Randy rodent’s Bake Off return. P39
Daily MirrorStrictly Come Dancing bosses want singer Anastacia to compete on show. P9
Catherine Tate says Nan could become a full series. P14
Daily StarCelebrity Big Brother coverage. P9
Lee Nelson cons Britain’s Got Talent judges as ‘rapping rabbi’. P11
Actor Perry Glasspool signs new Hollyoaks contract. P22

Go to MediaGuardian

Asian Markets at Close Report by MarketWatch on January29, 2015> Nikkei Jumps After BOJ-s Rate Surprise< China Stocks Gain.

Chao Deng 
Shares in Japan rose Friday, after the Bank of Japan surprised investors by introducing a negative interest-rate policy.

Jan 28, 2016

The Economist | Politics This Week - January 28, 2016: United Only by Hatred.


United only by hatred

International | Jan 28th.
No one at home
PITY poor Staffan de Mistura, the UN’s special envoy for Syria. Talks aimed at ending the five-year civil war that has claimed more than 250,000 lives and displaced 12m people should have started on January 25th in Geneva. But disagreements over who should come and on what terms could not be resolved in time. As The Economist went to press, it looked as if the talks could at last get under way on January 29th. But as the veteran diplomat ruefully conceded on Monday, threats to pull out should be expected: “Don’t be surprised: there will be a lot of posturing, a lot of walkouts and walk-ins…you should neither be depressed [nor] impressed…the important thing is to keep momentum.”

The Economist | Business This Week - January 28, 2016.


Business this week

International | Jan 28th,
The World Bank reduced its forecast for the average price of a barrel of oil this year to $37, from the $51 it had projected just last October. In all, price forecasts for 37 of the 46 commodities that the bank monitors were revised lower. The Federal Reserve cited concerns about the world economy at its latest meeting, which suggests it is hesitant about raising interest rates again at its March meeting.
The Chinese new fear

Kitco News - January 28, 2016: Is Gold Rally Sustainable or Will It Lose Its Luster? GSA's John Doodly Comments.

Is Gold Rally Sustainable or Will It Lose Its Luster? GSA’s John Doody Comments

Kitco NEWS

Published on Jan 28, 2016
Gold prices ended the U.S. day session near unchanged Thursday, on mild profit taking after scoring a nearly three-month high Wednesday. The question on investors’ minds is whether the yellow metal can take advantage of its safe haven appeal and keep the momentum going. Portfolio manager, John Doody says that gold should be able to stay the course. ‘I think we are going to continue modestly higher – the pressure of further Fed rate increases is off for now,’ says Doody, the founder of the popular Gold Stock Analyst (GSA) newsletter. ‘After a four-plus bear market, the cycle is turning,’ he adds. On the gold stock front, Doody says he likes companies that are benefiting from a lower currency valuation including the Canadian miners, Mexico and Australia. As for the silver miners, Doody says it is very difficult for companies to turn a profit with silver’s current levels. ‘Silver is at $14 and nobody can make any money – until silver gets to $16-$17 dollars, we are not going to see any profits out of these miners,’ he adds. February Comex gold was last down $0.80 at $1,115.00 an ounce. March Comex silver was last down $0.214 at $14.245 an ounce. Kitco News, January 28, 2016.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York Org. - January 28, 2016: Tentative Outright Agency MBS Operation Schedule

Tentative Outright Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities Operation Schedule
The Desk's tentative operations schedules associated with outright purchases of agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) securities as announced by the Federal Open Market Committee.

WSJ | Forex Closing on January 28, 2016.

The Wall Street Journal Forex Closing
Major Currencies
Thursday, January 28, 2016

WSJ | Major Indexes Closing on January 28, 2016.

The Wall Street Journal Major Indexes Closing
Major Indexes 5:43 p.m. EST 01/28/16

WSJ | Biggest Gainers Closing on January 28, 2016.

The Wall Street Journal Biggest Gainers Closing
Biggest Gainers
4:31 pm ET 01/28/2016

WSJ | Biggest Decliners Closing on January 28, 2016.

The Wall Street Journal Biggest Decliners Closing
Biggest Decliners
4:31 pm ET 01/28/2016

WSJ | Most Actives Closing on January 28, 2015.

The Wall Street Journal Most Actives Closing
Most Active Stocks by Volume
4:31 pm ET 01/28/2016

FRB Press Release - January 28, 2016: Federal Reserve Board Releases Supervisory Scenarios for 2016 Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) and Dodd-Frank Act Stress Test Exercises and Issues Instructions to Firms Participating in CCAR.


Press Release

Release Date: January 28, 2016

The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday released the supervisory scenarios for the 2016 Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) and Dodd-Frank Act stress test exercises and also issued instructions to firms participating in CCAR. This year, CCAR will include 33 bank holding companies with $50 billion or more in total consolidated assets.

DealBook P.M. Edition on January 28, 2016: Top Story: Puerto Rico Debt Negotiations Resume

Thursday, January 28, 2016
A cruise ship docks in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico Debt Negotiations Resume The continuation of talks between Puerto Rico's power company and its bondholders have revived hopes that a default can be avoided.

CMI Spot Prices as of Close of Trading in New York on January 28, 2016.

Spot Prices as of traditional New York closing times

Thursday, January 28, 2016


Wall Street at Close Report by CNBC on January 28, 2016


Dow closes up triple digits as oil rises; Facebook soars 15.5%

Evelyn Cheng
U.S. stocks closed higher Thursday, as higher oil prices and gains in Facebook outweighed pressure from declines in biotech stocks and concerns about economic growth.
The Nasdaq composite outperformed, briefly rising more than 1 percent as Facebook leaped more than 16.5 percent and Amazon gained ahead of its earnings report. Apple held more than 1 percent higher in afternoon trade.

The Dow Jones industrial average briefly gained 150 points in afternoon trade, more than reclaiming opening gains of more than 100 points after falling into negative territory in morning trade. Caterpillar, Goldman Sachs and Chevron were among the top contributors to gains in the index.
"It's really Facebook and Amazon that are driving the market but my real concern as we pull back from the highs is this market is going to run up to resistance on any rally," said Marc Chaikin, CEO of Chaikin Analytics. "The inability of the market to hold up on good news (from stocks) like Facebook, which is a key player, is not good news."

U.S. crude oil futures settled above $33 a barrel, well off session highs but notching oil's first three-day win streak of 2016.
"A lot of what's going on in markets today is this uncertainty in oil and commodity prices and how that's going to affect (energy companies)," said John Bredemus, vice president, Allianz Investment Management. That analysis gets easier "if we can get a solid basis of where energy prices will be."
Earlier, the major U.S. averages fell into negative territory as declines in health care stocks weighed.
The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) held about 3.5 percent lower after earlier falling more than 5 percent and briefly dragging the Nasdaq composite into negative territory.

Paul Yook, portfolio manager at BioShares Funds, attributed the declines in IBB to disappointment on earnings. "Generally, companies were pretty conservative with their guidance," he said.

"It's just been obviously the worst beginning to the year for biotech and investors are really fleeing and staying on the sidelines until they see some stabilization (in stock prices)," he said.
As of intraday trade Thursday, the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) was down more than 20 percent for the year so far.

"My sense is it's going to take some more catalysts to turn things around," said Mike Bailey, director of research and chair at FBB Capital Partners. "Unfortunately, fourth-quarter earnings season is not doing it."
Celgene fell more than 5.5 percent in afternoon trade. The firm posted fourth-quarter earnings that fell short of analysts' estimates, hurt by higher costs. The company's net profit fell to $561 million, or 69 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, from $613.9 million, or 74 cents per share, a year earlier, Reuters reported. The firm's current quarter earnings guidance was slightly below FactSet expectations.

Eli Lilly also declined more than 5.5 percent in afternoon trade. The drug maker posted earnings in-line with estimates on revenue that beat. Lilly said it is upbeat about this year's prospects based on a half dozen Food and Drug Administration approvals in 2015 and a number of successful late-stage trials.
Amazon.com, Microsoft, Visa and Electronic Arts are among companies due to report after the bell.
Read MoreDon't be fooled by the flimsy rebound in stocks
The S&P 500 also tried for gains as energy held more than 2.5 percent higher, while health care declined more than 2 percent as the only decliner in afternoon trade. Earlier, energy gained more than 3.5 percent to lead S&P 500 advancers, with the index spiking 1 percent in opening trade.
"The huge higher open was clearly around oil prices higher and the talk about OPEC cutting production," Bredemus said.

"I think the reality is setting in. I think reality is, after the Fed, is the Fed isn't seeing anything better than we are," he said. "It's earnings season. Things are slow, things aren't going as well as we hoped and oil is uncertain."
Earlier, Dow futures jumped more than 150 points in pre-market trade, shaking off pressure from a sharp miss on durable goods, as oil gained.

"Obviously, certainly crude is driving the bus," said Jeremy Klein, chief market strategist at FBN Securities. He also noted support for stocks from some encouraging earnings reports and expectations the Federal Reserve will hold off on raising rates in the near-term.

U.S. crude settled up 92 cents, or 2.85 percent, at $33.22 a barrel, well off session highs. Earlier, WTI surged above $34.50 to its highest since Jan. 6.

Brent traded just above $34 a barrel in afternoon trade after earlier topping $35.50 a barrel on speculation that major producers may cooperate to cut production.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Thursday that Saudi Arabia had proposed to cut oil production by up to 5 percent by each country in order to support weak oil prices, Reuters reported.

But Saudi Arabia has not proposed cutting back production or asked Russia to do the same, Dow Jones reported, citing a senior Gulf OPEC delegate.
Read MoreChances of OPEC, Russia oil deal slim to none
U.S. stocks fell more than 1 percent Wednesday after the Federal Reserve meeting statement renewed concerns about global growth. Disappointing earnings reports from Apple and Boeing also weighed heavily on stocks, despite gains in oil prices.

"I think they're trying to convey a very nuanced message and investors were looking for something that would say they wouldn't raise rates at the March meeting," said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones.
Pending home sales rose just 0.1 percent in December from a downwardly revised November print.

Treasury yields briefly turned higher as oil surged before holding lower in afternoon trade, with the 10-year yield at 1.98 percent and the 2-year yield at 0.81 percent.
The Treasury auctioned $29 billion in 7-year notes at a high yield of 1.759 percent.

The U.S. dollar traded nearly half a percent lower against major world currencies, with the euro around $1.096 and the yen at 118.70 yen against the greenback.
In corporate news, Facebook reported earnings after the close Wednesday that blew past estimates, with the firm beating the $1 billion mark in quarterly net income for the first time ever.
Caterpillar reported adjusted fourth quarter profit of 74 cents per share, five cents above estimates, though revenue was light. Caterpillar does see full-year 2016 profit above current Street estimates, as it benefits from cost controls and restructuring. Shares rose more than 4 percent in afternoon trade.
Dow futures briefly turned negative in pre-market trade after December durable goods orders declined far more than expected.
"While it wasn't good news, it was also not new news. I don't think that set the tone for today," Warne said.

Durable goods fell 5.1 percent in December, far more than expectations for a less-than 1 percent decline. Ex-transportation, the figure declined 1.2 percent.
"That's another indication the economy is continuing to slow and an indication the Fed is going to hold off in the first half of this year," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial.

Read More Factory slowdown hits these states hardest

Weekly jobless claims came in at 278,000.

Treasury yields edged lower after the durable goods report, with the 10-year dipping below 2 percent, before mostly turning higher as oil climbed.


DJIA Dow Jones Industrial Average 16069.23
124.77 0.78%
S&P 500 S&P 500 Index 1893.21
10.26 0.54%
NASDAQ Nasdaq Composite Index 4506.68
38.51 0.86%
In afternoon trade, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 63 points, or 0.40 percent, to 16,011, with Caterpillar leading advancers and American Express the greatest decliner.

The S&P 500 rose 9 points, or 0.46 percent, to 1,891, with energy leading nine sectors higher and health care the only laggard.
The Nasdaq composite gained 30 points, or 0.66 percent, to 4,498.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, traded near 22.5.

About two stocks advanced for every decliner on the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 604 million and a composite volume of 2.9 billion.
Crude oil futures for March delivery gained $1.07 to $33.37 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold futures for April delivery settled down 20 cents at $1,116.10 an ounce.
Read MoreEarly movers: F, BABA, CAT, UA, TWC, HOG, LLY, SWK, FB & more

Reuters and CNBC's Peter Schacknow contributed to this report
On tap this week:

Earnings: Amazon.com, Amgen, Microsoft, Visa, Electronic Arts, KLA-Tencor, Western Digital

Earnings: AbbVie, Chevron, Colgate-Palmolive, Honda Motor, Honeywell, MasterCard

8:30 a.m. Real GDP Q4; international trade; employment cost index
9:45 a.m. Chicago PMI
10 a.m. Consumer sentiment

3:30 p.m. San Francisco Fed President John Williams on panel
*Planner subject to change.
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