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Stocks jump after G-20 pledge to aid economies

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FILE - this is a Tuesday, June 30, 2009 file photo of a worker operating the valves at the Al-Shiaaba oil refinery and the pipeline near the southern Iraqi city of Basra. (AP Photo/Nabil Al-Jurani, File) FILE - this is a Tuesday, June 30, 2009 file photo of a worker operating the valves at the Al-Shiaaba oil refinery and the pipeline near the southern Iraqi city of Basra. (AP Photo/Nabil Al-Jurani, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are jumping to new highs for the year as the dollar slides, boosting prices for commodities including gold and oil.

Investors are also buying stocks Monday on growing confidence about the global economic recovery. News that the Group of 20 countries will keep stimulus measures in place signals interest rates will remain low.

Investors see the dollar as weaker than other currencies because of low U.S. interest rates. They're using it to finance purchases of investments in other countries. That weakens the dollar.

At midday, the Dow Jones industrials are up 150 at 10,174. That's 50 points above its previous 2009 high.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index is up 16 at 1,086. The Nasdaq composite index is up 30 at 2,142.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks jumped to new highs for the year Monday as the dollar extended its slide, boosting prices for commodities including gold and oil.

Investors were also buying stocks on growing confidence about the global economic recovery, getting a shot of optimism from news this weekend that the Group of 20 countries will keep stimulus measures in place. Investors saw the agreement as a signal that interest rates would remain low. Major stock indexes rose more than 1 percent, including the Dow Jones industrial average, which rose 130 points.

Investors around the world are seeing the dollar as weaker than other currencies because of low U.S. interest rates, and so they're using it for what's known as "carry trade," to finance purchases of investments in other countries. That trend takes the dollar down when those purchases are made.

Stock investors like a weaker dollar because it helps U.S. exporters by making their goods cheaper to overseas buyers and giving the companies a boost when they convert profits from abroad to dollars.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of foreign currencies, fell 1 percent to hit a new low for the year.

Commodities prices, meanwhile, tend to rise when the dollar is down, so gold topped $1,100 an ounce. Crude oil rose $2.07 to $79.50 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, helped in part by Tropical Storm Ida, which threatened the Gulf of Mexico.

Energy and materials stocks rose along with commodities prices, and investors' enthusiasm for those stocks spilled over to other industries.

Brian Battle, vice president of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners in Chicago, said the strength of the carry trade is giving an artificial lift to a range of assets, including stocks.

"There's cheap money that's going to be pumping its way into the system," he said. "That money is finding is home in the currency and commodity markets."

In late morning trading, the Dow rose 128.32, or 1.3 percent, to 10,151.74. The index rose as high as 10,157.87, topping an earlier 12-month high of 10,119.46 set Oct. 21.

The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 14.21, or 1.3 percent, to 1,083.51, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 30.01, or 1.4 percent, to 2,142.45.

In corporate news, McDonald's, the world's largest fast-food chain, said monthly sales growth was relatively flat in the U.S. but offset by stronger growth globally. The stock rose 71 cents to $62.43.

Britain's Cadbury Plc rejected a $16.4 billion hostile takeover bid from Kraft Foods Inc. Cadbury rose 34 cents to $50.84, while Kraft fell 29 cents to $26.49.

Bond prices were mixed. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, fell to 3.49 percent from 3.50 percent late Friday.

The latest burst of enthusiasm about the potential for the economy comes as investors await retailers' quarterly earnings reports to see how much consumers are spending as the holidays approach. The market is concerned that rising unemployment, which now stands at 10.2 percent, will further discourage already hesitant consumers from spending.

Still, the Labor Department's jobs report from Friday hasn't deterred investors, who were buying stocks on the theory that the weak labor market will prompt the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low for some time.

Advancing stocks outpaced those that fell 10-to-1 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 311.1 million shares compared with 335.5 million shares traded at the same point Friday.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 10.00, or 1.7 percent, to 590.35.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 0.2 percent. In afternoon trading, Britain's FTSE 100 rose 1.5 percent, Germany's DAX index advanced 1.8 percent, and France's CAC-40 rose 1.7 percent.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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