NEW YORK (AP) ? Stocks rose sharply in early trading Wednesday, a day after renewed worries over Europe’s debt crisis roiled markets around the world. Strong corporate earnings and a better employment report helped turn markets around.
The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 209 points, or 1.8 percent, to 11,867 as of 11 a.m. Eastern. The Dow lost 573 points the previous two days after the brokerage MF Global collapsed and Greece’s prime minister surprised markets and his own government with a call to put unpopular austerity measures to a public vote.
The fear of a wider financial crisis appeared to ease Wednesday as the euro rose against the dollar and Treasury prices slipped. A revolt in George Papandreou’s government could scuttle the Greek referendum, which would be an enormous relief to investors. Papandreou faces a confidence vote on Friday.
Should voters reject the austerity plan, it could lead to a messy default on Greece’s debt that would send shock waves through Europe’s financial system and likely cause massive losses for banks that hold European debt. Only last week European leaders agreed to a wide-ranging plan to shore up European banks and heavily indebted countries like Greece and Italy.
Automatic Data Processing said that company payrolls rose by 110,000 in October, more than economists had expected. Most of the gains came from the service industry. ADP also revised its survey results for September higher.
Bank of America rose 4.5 percent, the largest gain among the 30 stocks in the Dow. MasterCard jumped 7.4 percent after reporting that quarterly earnings soared 38 percent. The results beat analysts’ expectations.
The S&P 500 index rose 23 points, or 1.9 percent, to 1,241. Energy and materials companies were among the leaders. The Nasdaq composite rose 38 points, or 1.5 percent, to 2,645.
Small stocks rose more than the overall market, a sign that investors were taking on more risk. The Russell 2000 index jumped 2.4 percent.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.04 percent, up from 1.96 percent late Tuesday.
Commodity prices, which are sensitive to swings in the economic mood, were broadly higher. Copper rose 3 percent to $3.31 a pound.
The Federal Reserve ends a two-day policy meeting later Wednesday and will release new economic forecasts. Investors will be keeping an eye on Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s afternoon news conference. Most economists believe the Fed won’t announce any new policy changes.
Among companies reporting quarterly earnings, EOG Resources Inc. rose 11.3 percent, the largest gain in the S&P 500 index. The oil and gas company reported third-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ expectations after posting a loss a year ago.
JDS Uniphase Corp. jumped 8.8 percent, after the technology company’s earnings surpassed estimates.
Comcast rose 2.2 percent after the country’s largest cable company reported relatively strong results compared to its peers. It also signed up more customers for Internet service.