Stocks open higher after 5 days of heavy selling |

Stocks open higher after 5 days of heavy selling

Associated Press

NEW YORK Investors returned to the stock market Wednesday, sifting for bargains after five straight days of heavy selling.Wall Street’s advance followed gains in overseas markets that were fed by optimism over a possible Chinese economic stimulus plan. A legislative meeting begins in China Thursday and investors are hoping the country’s leaders will introduce further economic stimulus measures.Meanwhile, the Obama administration is announcing details of a program designed to help as many as 9 million borrowers stay in their homes through refinanced mortgages.Investors hungry for signs of economic improvement also anxious awaited a report on the services sector as well as the Federal Reserve’s beige book, an assessment of the economy by region.In the first half hour of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 96.45, or 1.4 percent, to 6,822.47. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 11.42, or 1.6 percent, to 707.75, while the Nasdaq composite index gained 22.39, or 1.7 percent, to 1,343.40.

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