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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

US Stocks end higher on a choppy day (ext.)

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Stocks closed in positive territory to end a choppy trading day. After a rough start Tuesday, U.S. stocks followed world markets slightly higher as worries about a possible credit downgrade of French banks receded.

The S&P 500 (SPX) closed the day up 11 points, or 0.9%, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) gained 37 points, or 1.5%.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) finished up 45 points, or 0.4%, higher. Seven of the blue-chip index's 30 components landed in the red.

The change in sentiment resulted at least partly from French banks BNP Paribas and Societe General debunking rumors that they were having trouble gaining access to funding. These rumors sparked the early morning sell-off in the U.S.

"We're taking all our cues from Europe right now," said Peter Boockvar, the Equity Strategist at Miller Tabak + Co. "If there's stability in the European markets, it's a reason for buyers to come into our markets."

Indeed, analysts and traders said that in this environment, news about the global economy is driving markets more than individual companies' performance.

"Fundamentals of many companies look good but that's been overshadowed by the macroeconomic uncertainty coming out of Europe," said Matthew Rubin, the director of investment strategy at Neuberger Berman. "I don't think we've gotten past the volatility we're in."

The dollar was up against the British pound and the euro, but lost slightly against the Japanese yen.

Oil for October delivery gained $2 to $90.20 a barrel.

Gold futures for December delivery added $23.10 to $1,836.40 an ounce.

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