Stocks Opened Higher as Oil Rebounded

U.S. stocks opened higher on Wednesday, as higher oil prices lifted sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately added 39.38 points, or 0.24%, to 16,555.60. The S&P 500 gained 4.41 points, or 0.23%, to 1,943.09. The Nasdaq Composite was up 6.18 points, or 0.13%, to 4,692.09.

Fourth-quarter earnings estimates are following the usual pattern and the results will ease concern stemming from this year’s losses in stocks, according to Adam Parker, Morgan Stanley’s chief U.S. equity strategist.

General Motors Co said on Wednesday it will return cash to shareholders by raising its stock buyback program by 80 percent to $9 billion and increasing its dividend by 6 percent, sending shares up 4.3 percent in premarket trading.

General Electric Co. said Wednesday it plans to cut 6,500 jobs in Europe at the businesses the U.S. conglomerate bought from Alstom last year.

China reported Wednesday that exports in December declined 1.4% year on year. This was much better than the 8% drop expected by economists in a survey by The Wall Street Journal and compared with a 6.8% decline in November, allowing Beijing to end the trading year on a stronger note.

Worldwide shipments of PCs declined in the fourth quarter, according to two industry reports released on Tuesday. International Data Corporation (IDC) said that computer makers shipped 71.9 million devices in the fourth quarter, a 10.6% decrease from the previous year during the same period.

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