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Oil prices lift the market as energy stocks rally

NEW YORK - Stocks jumped on Monday as the price of oil surged, lifting energy stocks as well as mining and chemicals companies. The stock market is coming off its best week of the year and has recovered its losses from earlier in the month.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 229 points, or 1.4 percent, to close at 16,621. The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 28 points, or 1.5 percent, to end at 1,946. The Nasdaq composite advanced 67 points, or 1.5 percent, finishing at 4,571. The Dow and S&P 500 are still down more than 4 percent this year.

Benchmark U.S. crude climbed $1.84, or 6.2 percent, to $31.48 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, rose $1.70, or 5.1 percent, to $34.71 a barrel in London. The price of wholesale gasoline increased almost 6 percent, and heating oil rose 3 percent.

Chevron gained $2.36, or 2.73 percent, to close at $88.86, and Marathon Oil added 76 cents, or 11.3 percent, to $7.49.

U.S. oil prices have risen about 20 percent since Feb. 11. Still, they've dropped 70 percent since the middle of 2014 as global stockpiles have built up and up. The International Energy Agency said Monday that it doesn't expect oil prices to recover significantly until 2017.

Chemicals and mining companies also rose as investors interpreted the increased price of oil as a sign the global economy is solid. Alcoa rose $1.05 cents, or 13.3 percent, to $8.91, putting the stock on pace for its biggest one-day gain in almost seven years. Freeport-McMoran added $1, or 14.5 percent, to $7.92. Freeport-McMoran, a copper producer and oil company, has nearly doubled in value since mid-January. Dow Chemical rose 81 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $47.89.

Consumer stocks made large gains. The biggest went to e-commerce company Amazon, which said Monday that shoppers who are not members of its Prime loyalty program will have to make larger orders to get free shipping. The move could push more shoppers to sign up for a $99-a-year Prime membership. Its stock climbed $24.60, or 4.6 percent, to close at $559.50.

Starbucks, too, rose after making changes to its customer rewards program. The coffee chain said shoppers who spend less money won't get as many freebies. Its stock added $1.20, or 2.1 percent, to $58.87.

Automakers rose, as Ford added 45 cents, or 3.8 percent, to $12.56, and General Motors picked up 85 cents, or 3 percent, to $29.63.

Lumber Liquidators plunged $2.82, or 19.9 percent, to $11.39 after the U.S. government said people exposed to some types of its laminate flooring were three times as likely to get cancer as it had originally predicted. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says the risk of cancer is six to 30 cases per 100,000 people. It previously estimated two to nine cases per 100,000 people.

"Lumber Liquidators" update

Lumber Liquidators has plunged 80 percent over the last year after "60 Minutes" reported that those floors contain high levels of the carcinogen formaldehyde.

European stocks rose as investors hoped for more steps to stimulate the European Union economy. This week, finance ministers from the Group of 20 major rich and developing economies will meet, and they could take new steps to shore up global growth.

Germany's DAX gained 2 percent and France's CAC-40 added 1.8 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 1.5 percent.

"Stock market prices and oil prices have been tracking each other like a shadow through the first part of the year," said Michael Scanlon, managing director and portfolio manager for John Hancock Asset Management.

Scanlon said that usually doesn't happen for long stretches. He said the market is rising and falling with oil prices because when prices go down, investors get tend to get concerned about the health of the global economy, and when oil prices rise, they are reassured.

Data center operator Equinix will buy European competitor TelecityGroup for $3.3 billion. Equinix has more than 100 data centers in 15 countries, and will gain TelecityGroup's 39 facilities in 11 European countries. Equinix stock added $4.05, or 1.4 percent, to $303.42.

Food service company Sysco Corp. said it will buy Europe's Brakes Group for $3.1 billion. Last year Sysco gave up on an effort to buy U.S. Foods for $3.35 billion after the Federal Trade Commission opposed the deal. Sysco gave up $2.20, or 4.9 percent, to close at $42.79.

Health insurers UnitedHealth and Humana climbed after the government released a policy update for a key type of plan. According to analysts, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will raise Medicare Advantage plan rates by about 3.5 percent.

Medicare Advantage plans are privately-run versions of the government's Medicare program for people who are over 65 or disabled. They offer basic Medicare coverage along with extras like vision or dental coverage or lower premiums.

UnitedHealth stock gained $3.59, or 3.1 percent, to $121.27, and Humana gained $6.41, or 3.9 percent, to close at $171.75.

Botox maker Allergan climbed after its quarterly results surpassed Wall Street projections. The stock rose $10.07, or 3.7 percent, to $285.82.

The pound fell 1.7 percent as London Mayor Boris Johnson said he believes Britain should leave the European Union. Prime Minister David Cameron wants to keep the country within the 28-nation bloc, and voters will hold a referendum in June.

Analysts say the "stay" campaign is still likely to win, but the prospect of prolonged uncertainty is unnerving some investors.

The pound fell to $1.415 from $1.441 on Friday.

Bond prices slipped, and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.77 percent from 1.75 percent. The euro fell to $1.1016 from $1.1135 late Friday and the dollar rose to 113.09 yen from 112.56 yen.

Precious and industrial metals futures ended mixed. Gold fell $20.70 to $1,210.10 an ounce, silver lost 19 cents to $15.18 an ounce and copper rose four cents to $2.12 a pound.

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