Wall St opens higher, eyeing 5th day of gains

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ANALYST TAKEAWAY: "Having just gone through the roller coaster of equity sell-off induced by bond yield rises, I am frankly at a loss to explain what is now happening", said Rob Carnell, chief Asia economist at ING.

Industrial companies were also higher. Energy companies continued to struggle. Stocks are still well below the record highs they set three weeks ago.

A staggering $20.38 billion has departed SPY this month, more than the combined inflows to February's top 10 asset-gathering ETFs combined - but investors should not blame rising interest rates and surging Treasury yields for the recent weakness in US stocks. That helped banks, as the higher interest rates make lending more profitable.

The S&P 500 rose 32 points, or 1.2 percent, to 2,731.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 35 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,698.

Facebook FB.O jumped 3.7 percent while Amazon.com AMZN.O and Apple AAPL.O both rose more than 1.8 percent. The producer price index for final demand is likely to show a 2.5 percent rise in January, after falling for the first time in almost 1-1/2 years in December.

The Federal Reserve has an inflation target of 2 percent. The last significant drop in the market prior to this month came in June 2016, after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Shares in European plane maker Airbus jumped 10 percent after it said earnings last year almost tripled and it expected further gains in deliveries this year despite problems with some jet production programs.

Trading volumes have returned to more typical levels this week.

The CBOE Volatility index fell below 20 for the first time since February 5.

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A Labor Department report showed USA producer prices rose in line with expectations in January, likely calming fears that inflation was picking up faster than expected. "But frankly, the path of least resistance is still up and fundamentals haven't really changed". That's the most in a year, and it sent bond yields and gold prices higher. "But much like yesterday, the market's shaking it off".

US crude oil turned higher in afternoon trading after a slump in the morning.

Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1.14%, while in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.81%. Brent crude, used to price global oils, lost 3 cents to $64.33 a barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline added 3 cents to $1.71 a gallon.

ENERGY: Oil futures fell, with the US benchmark down 25 cents to $60.35 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Investors have pointed to other reasons why stocks were higher.

Gold jumped $27.60, or 2.1 percent, to $1,358 an ounce. Silver fell 8 cents to $16.80 an ounce.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 107.10 yen from 107.55 yen. The euro strengthened to $1.2485 from $1.2452.

France's CAC 40 climbed 1.1 percent, led by a big gain from Airbus. But, the index remains down about 6 percent from its record high on January 26. Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 2% to close at 31,115.43 in a half-day trading session. Markets in mainland China, South Korea and Taiwan were closed for the lunar new year holiday.



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