Stocks Climb in Early Trading on Italy Vote

U.S. stocks began Friday with robust gains as Italian bond yields fell following the Italian Senate’s approval of austerity measures. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately climbed 208.43 points to 12,102.22. The S&P 500 Index added 19.74 points to 1,259.43. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 32.48 points to 2,657.63.

The Italian Senate passed a series of austerity measures Friday demanded by Europe, as it seeks to ward off fears of a debt-driven crisis. The package was approved by 156 votes in favor to 12 against, with one abstention. It only had to be passed by those of the 320 senators who were present for the vote.

Facebook is finalizing a settlement with federal regulators over changes to its privacy policies enacted two years ago, the Wall Street Journal reported. The proposed settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission would resolve charges by privacy advocates that Facebook engaged in deceptive behavior.

Vivendi’s Universal Music Group is set to buy EMI’s recorded-music unit for $1.9 billion, while a group led by Sony’s music division will buy the publishing operation of the British music company for $2.2 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

A federal judge on Thursday ruled that Twitter, the popular microblogging platform, must reveal information about three of its account holders who are under investigation for their possible links to the WikiLeaks whistle-blower site.

China’s Sinochem Corp. plans to raise 20 billion yuan to 35 billion yuan ($3.2 billion to $5.52 billion) in an initial public offering in Shanghai, according to reports citing a statement Thursday by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection.

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