Stocks Opened Higher After German Court Ruling

Stocks opened higher on Wednesday after a top German court said it supported the euro zone’s new 700-billion-euro bailout fund to help the region battle its debt crisis. The Dow Jones industrial average lately was up 47.25 points, or 0.35 percent, at 13,370.61. The Standard & Poor’s 500  was up 5.44 points, or 0.38 percent, at  1,439.00. The Nasdaq Composite was up 13.80 points, or 0.44 percent, at 3,118.33.

Germany’s top court on Wednesday rejected calls to block ratification of the European Stability Mechanism, triggering a modest sigh of relief from financial markets and clearing the way for implementation of an important tool in Europe’s effort to contain its three-year-old debt crisis. In a decision read from the bench of the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, the red-robed judges rejected six requests for an injunction to prevent Germany’s president from signing the treaty establishing the 500 billion euro ($643.7 billion) permanent rescue fund.

Import prices rose in August for the first time in five months as the cost of imported oil jumped, a factor that could weigh on American consumers and temporarily boost inflation. Import prices climbed 0.7 percent last month, the Labor Department said on Wednesday. The cost of petroleum imports increased 4.1 percent.

The Federal Reserve is likely to announce a third round of bond purchases tomorrow, according to almost two-thirds of economists in a Bloomberg survey, while also extending the duration of its zero-interest-rate policy into 2015.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK) agreed to sell portions of oil and natural-gas fields in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico and other assets in a series of transactions for $6.9 billion, narrowing a cash-flow shortfall that threatened to crimp the Oklahoma City-based company’s drilling and production goals.

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