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Market Recap: Markets Close Higher on Greek Hopes

Markets closed up on Wall Street today:

▲ Dow +0.55 percent

▲ S&P +0.98 percent

▲ Nasdaq +1.18 percent

▲ Oil +0.53 percent

▲ Gold +1.02 percent

On the commodities front:

▲ Oil (NYSE:USO) rose to $106.72 a barrel

Precious metals:

▲ Gold (NYSE:GLD) climbed to $1,701.00 an ounce

▲ Silver (NYSE:SLV) rose 0.88 percent to settle at $33.88

(Related: Natural Gas Prices Plunge as Oil Surges)

Today’s markets were up because:

1) Greece: Markets closed higher today as investors grew hopeful that private-sector bondholders were on the verge of accepting a debt-swap deal with Greece — the final hurdle Greece must clear to receive a second, 130 billion-euro bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

“The bailout is necessary if Greece is going to avoid default, the repercussions of which would be felt throughout the euro zone and beyond,” Emily Knapp of Wall St. Cheat Sheet writes.

2) Jobs: Data on initial jobless claims and planned job cuts were mixed today — initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 8,000 while a separate report showed that planned layoffs declined in February. Despite the increase in jobless claims, figures remain near four-year lows, and investors have already turned their focus toward the government’s monthly jobs report due on Friday morning.

3) Companies: Apple shares were feeling the effect of the enthusiasm for the new iPad, which CEO Tim Cook previewed at a press event on Wednesday, climbing more than 2 percent during regular trading. Anheuser-Busch InBev shares rose after the brewer reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and issued an upbeat outlook. Starbucks also climbed after saying it would “announce a new strategic initiative in the Premium Single Cup Category” later today.

[Editor’s note: the above is a cross post that originally appeared on Wall St. Cheat Sheet.]

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