Stocks Rose on European Bank Optimism

U.S. stocks opened higher on Wednesday, extending gains on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index into a third day, on expectations Europe would manage its debt trouble. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 56.16 points to 11,472.46. The S&P 500 climbed 8.99 points to 1,204.53. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 25.93 points to 2,608.962,608.96.

The president of the European Commission said Wednesday that banks should temporarily raise their capital buffers to better withstand the effects of the region’s debt crisis

Applications for U.S. home mortgages rose last week as demand grew for both purchases and refinancing even as interest rates rose, an industry group said on Wednesday. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, increased 1.3 percent in the week ended Oct 7.

Oil prices inched up above $86 a barrel Wednesday, supported by a weaker dollar even as concerns persisted about the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and the International Energy Agency slightly lowered its demand growth forecasts. By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for November delivery was up 70 cents at $86.51 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Greece’s central government deficit continued to grow in the first nine months of the year despite a series of austerity measures designed to raise revenues, figures from the country’s finance ministry showed Wednesday. The central government deficit stood at euro19.2 billion ($26.1 billion) for January to September from euro16.65 billion in the same period last year. The 15.1 percent increase was slightly lower than the government forecast of a rise to euro19.24 billion.

Liz Claiborne Inc., which hasn’t had an annual profit since 2006, is planning to sell several brands, including its namesake business, and will change its name. The company said Wednesday that it will focus on its Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand and kate spade brands, and says the name change will reflect that. It hasn’t picked a new name yet.

PepsiCo Inc.’s third-quarter profit rose 4 percent. PepsiCo, based in Purchase, N.Y., reported Wednesday that it earned $2 billion, or $1.25 per share, for the period ended Sept. 3. That’s up from $1.92 billion, or $1.19 per share, a year ago.

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